'Bath Salt' Street Drugs Temporarily Banned

Yael Waknine

October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 — The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has temporarily banned 3 synthetic stimulants marketed as "bath salts" and "plant food" that mimic cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and/or methamphetamine when ingested.

According to a DEA news release, the emergency measure makes it illegal to possess or sell 3,4,methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, and methylone for at least 1 year, with the possibility of a 6-month extension.

The chemicals, which are not approved for human consumption or medical use in the United States, have been the subject of an increasing number of reports from poison control centers, hospitals, and police during the last 6 months.

Marketed under names such as "Ivory Wave," "Purple Wave," "Vanilla Sky," or "Bliss" in retail stores, head shops, and over the Internet, the chemicals are especially popular among teenagers and young adults who sniff, inject, or smoke the crystals.

Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes. Long-term effects remain unknown, officials said.

"This action demonstrates our commitment to keeping our streets safe from these and other new and emerging drugs that have decimated families, ruined lives, and caused havoc in communities across the country," DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a statement.

"These chemicals pose a direct and significant threat, regardless of how they are marketed, and we will aggressively pursue those who attempt their manufacture and sale," she added.

As previously announced, the DEA earlier this year banned 5 chemicals (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) found in "fake pot "that was marketed as herbal incense or smoking blends under such names as "Spice," "K2," "Blaze," and "Red X Dawn."


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