They're called "Spice" and "Bath Salts," but have nothing to do with the ones you find at stores like Bed Bath and Beyond. These chemicals are drugs, used to get high. California Poison Control System medical and managing director, Dr. Richard Geller says, they're poison.
“They are ingested, injected, smoked, used in many number of ways and they are exceptionally dangerous,” said Geller.
Bath salts and synthetic marijuana are dangerous drugs, and are keeping poison control centers busy. The number of calls to the centers nationwide involving bath salts has significantly increased. In 2010, they received 304 calls. Last year, they got more than 6,138 calls. Dr. Gellar says since January 2011, poison control centers in California have received 261 cases.
“They cause severe agitation, hallucinations, extremely violent behavior, bizarre suicides, psychosis that may not get better,” explained Geller.
And when it comes to synthetic marijuana, poison control centers nationwide received 7,000 calls involving the drug, last year. That's up from 2,906 from the year before. These drugs have already been banned in most states. California isn't one of them. But that could soon change. The House just passed legislation that would ban these chemicals from being sold online and at convenient stores. It now needs to get passed by the Senate. It's an urgency Dr. Gellar says will avoid any more casualties. He said, “If you want to fool around with bath salts, you stand at least a chance of permanently losing your mind.”
As I mentioned, the legislative ban now needs to get passed by the Senate, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is keeping it from reaching a floor vote. The libertarian has said, criminal justice should be left to states, rather than federal government.
A year-long ban on three synthetic stimulants used to make "bath salts" expires in October. The ban on synthetic marijuana expires in September.