The products have already been banned in the U.K. and several states are taking steps to ban the products in the United States.
Some of these products have been found to contain methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a central nervous system stimulant. MDPV has not been approved for medical use in the U.S. Its use was banned in Britain in April 2010.
States Taking Action on Fake Cocaine
Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an emergency ruling to add MDPV to the Louisiana Controlled Dangerous Substance Act, making it illegal to possess, manufacture or distribute products contain the drug in the state. North Dakota and Kentucky have also made moves to ban the drug.
The product is sold under names like "Ivory Wave," "Bliss," "Blue Silk," "Charge Plus," "White Lightening," and "Cloud 9." A one-half gram package of the bath salts are sold for around $25 to $30.
The Department of Justice said the bath salts are being sold in the same stores that sold fake marijuana products. The DOJ called the increase in use of MDPV by young people "alarming."
The Health Effects of Fake Cocaine
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said MDPV can cause paranoia, chest pains, and irregular heartbeats. In Scotland, where more than 20 teens were hospitalized after snorting the bath salts, health officials said the fake cocaine can cause kidney failure, seizures, muscle damage and loss of bowel control.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported receiving 232 calls about the products during 2010, most of those calls coming from Louisiana.
The products are made in China.
"It makes people lose touch with reality," said Dr. Cynthia Lewis-Younger, of the Florida Poison Information Center. "They're ending up in psychiatric institutions."
News Source: The Sun Sentinel. Bath Salts Misused as 'Fake Cocaine' Send Users to Hospitals. Jan. 18, 2011. Related Information: