Abuse of recreational designer drugs known as “bath salts” has hit Michigan hard, sending 65 people to emergency rooms over the past six months and resulting in at least one death, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC report notes that bath salts for recreational use are sold at head shops and on the Internet with names such as Zoom and White Rush. These products also have been labeled as plant food and pond water cleaner and are sold in ways designed to elude detection or enforcement.
The Associated Press reports that the Michigan bath salts patients had symptoms that included agitation, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations and seizures. The article notes that the state Legislature is considering bills that would make possession of bath salts a felony. The CDC reported that about 70 percent of the Michigan bath salts patients had previously abused drugs and nearly half had a history of mental illnesses.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, at least 2,700 people nationwide have become ill from abusing synthetic drugs such as bath salts since January. By April 6, they had received five times more calls about the drugs than last year, the CDC report states.