Questions Answered On Mysterious Drug, Bath Salts

Questions Answered On Mysterious Drug, Bath Salts

Not much is generally understood about bath salts, what it is, and where it comes from. Alanna Quillen reports.
ODESSA -- Bath salts are a buzz topic, making headlines across the country.

Around the nation, authorities are seeing the drug and seeing deadly effects.

And with the drugs possibly being to blame for an attack in West Texas, many are wondering what are the bath salts and where is it coming from? After Tuesday's incident in Odessa, rumors say bath salts could be to blame.

"It's probably one of the most dangerous drugs to come along ever," said Michael Samp, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Manager for the Ector County Health Department.

He says bath salts, a form of methamphetamine, has the qualities of the drugs PCP, cocaine, LSD, and heroin all rolled into one.

"They're considering bath salts as a zombie drug or zombie apocalypse drug because in the long run, the effect it has on people is irreversible," Samp said.

There are some rumors and myths about what bath salts are, and they aren't the kind used in the bath tub. It's a dangerous counterfeit drug.

Local law enforcement and the DEA tell us they've already had several encounters with the drug here in the Permian Basin. They say that's because the drug can be bought in adult stores and other smoke shops.

Samp said side effects of the drug include psychosis, paranoia, and in some cases as seen recently, cannibalism.

Some states like Louisiana and Kentucky have already banned the drug.

"On a federal level, it just takes a longer time to make a ruling against it," Samp said.

After speaking with the health department, we tried to see if we could find the bath salts easily. We walked into three different smoke shop stores, where authorities say it can be found under the names "Ivory Snow" or "Vanilla Sky," but we couldn't find it on any shelves.

Samp says it's making headlines because it's popular, less expensive than other street drugs. and it's legal in Texas.

"And that's the main component right there, it's the legality," he says. "It's the fact that you don't have to worry about being caught and arrested."

Samp added that the drug mainly comes shipped from overseas. He thinks that the FDA will soon consider it a danger.

"Eventually I think it'll be made illegal, nationwide," he said.

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