Officials: 'Bath salts' are growing drug problem
FULTON, Miss. (AP) - When Neil Brown got high on dangerous chemicals sold as bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly.
Brown survived, but authorities say others haven't been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking powders with such innocuous-sounding names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.
Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine.
Mississippi lawmakers this week began considering a proposal to ban the sale of the powders, and a similar step is being sought in Kentucky. In Louisiana, the bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state's poison center received more than 125 calls in the last three months of 2010 involving exposure to the chemicals.
Authorities say the chemicals can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts. The chemicals are in products sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods. However, they aren't necessarily being used for the purposes on the label.
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