Jul 30, 2014
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Illegal Bath Salts: What You Should Know

Hillsborough County provides information for residents

Illegal Bath Salts: What You Should Know

From Hillsborough County officials:

What You Should Know About Illegal Bath Salts

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill on May 31 that made the sale and use of synthetic drugs, known as “bath salts,” illegal in the state of Florida.  Bath salts are banned in at least six states.

What Are Bath Salts?

  • Bath salts are synthetic drugs that resemble the appearance of bath salts used in a tub.
  • Legal bath salts contain sea salt or Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts), fragrance and essential oils; illegal bath salts contain none of these ingredients.
  • The drugs are white powders that can be inhaled, injected, swallowed or smoked.
  • Users refer to them as “fake cocaine.”
  • The designer drugs are sold under various names including “Cloud Nine,” Scarface,” Snow Leopard” and “Vanilla Sky.”
  • Bath salts are sold in packets and can be obtained online.

Signs And Symptoms Of Illegal Use Of Bath Salts

  • Extreme paranoia and delusions.
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations.
  • Agitation, violent outbursts, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Rapid heartbeat, hypertension, chest pain, and headaches.
  • Some users become extremely combative, presenting a danger to themselves and others.
  • Seizures and accidental overdose, which may be fatal.
  • Symptoms can last a few hours, a few days, or even months.
  • Some effects may be permanent.

Frightening Facts

  • 113 documented cases of bath salt use in Florida since August of 2010.¹
  • 2,507 calls to poison control centers about exposure to the drug since January.²
  • Male and female abusers of the drug range from teenagers to those in their 40's.
  • Illegal bath salts sell as cheap as $20 per packet, making them affordable even for teens.
  • The chemical makeup of some illegal bath salts is untraceable in some drug tests.

Where To Get Help

  • Florida Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222.
  • Addiction Recovery of Florida (ARC), 813-978-1300.
  • Drug Rehab Referral, 877-211-7428.
  • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, 2-1-1.

¹Florida Poison Information Center; ²American Assoc. of Poison Control Centers.

This crime prevention tip is provided by the Hillsborough County Criminal Justice Department. For more information or more safety tips, residents should call 813-276-2033 or visit http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/liaisons/criminaljustice/.

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