"Bath Salts", the newest fad to hit the shelves (virtual and real), is the latest addition to a growing list of items that young people can obtain to get high. The synthetic powder is sold legally online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of names, such as "Ivory Wave," "Purple Wave," "Red Dove," "Blue Silk," "Zoom," "Bloom," "Cloud Nine," "Ocean Snow," "Lunar Wave," "Vanilla Sky," "White Lightning," "Scarface," and "Hurricane Charlie."
Unfortunately, "bath salts" have already been linked to an alarming number of ER visits across the country. Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting or snorting "bath salts" containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions. It is noteworthy that, even though we are barely two months into 2011, there have been 251 calls related to "bath salts" to poison control centers so far this year. This number already exceeds the 236 calls received by poison control centers for all of 2010. In response to this emerging threat, several states, including Hawaii, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, and North Dakota, have introduced legislation to ban these products, which are incidentally labeled as "not fit for human consumption."