Friday, September 9, 2011
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced Wednesday (09/07/2011) that the chemicals used in the making of legal “bath salts” are an "imminent hazard" to the public. The DEA will use its emergency authority to place a ban on such chemicals. The health risks associated with synthetic drugs, like “bath salts”, are clear to health officials who have seen a surge in emergency room visits related to these so called “legal highs.”
"This imminent action by the DEA demonstrates that there is no tolerance for those who manufacture, distribute, or sell these drugs anywhere in the country, and that those who do will be shut down, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a statement on the DEA website. "DEA has made it clear we will not hesitate to use our emergency scheduling authority to control these dangerous chemicals that pose a significant and growing threat to our nation."
The side effects associated with “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana are nothing short of frightening and can lead people to attempt suicide. "They're selling time bombs," Louisiana Poison Control Center Director Dr. Mark Ryan said in the course of the ABC News investigation. "We've had some people show up who are complaining of chest pains so severe that they think they're having a heart attack. They think they're dying... They have extreme paranoia. They're having hallucinations. They see things, they hear things, monsters, demons, aliens."
The emergency ban enacted by the DEA will begin in 30 days, making it a crime to possess or sell mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and methylone -- all key ingredients for "bath salts", as well as or any other products concocted with those chemicals, for one year. In that year the DEA should have ample time, with the help of the Department of Health and Human Services, to "further study whether these chemicals should be permanently controlled."