DEA Places Ban On ‘Bath Salts’
Agency Considers Permanent Action
Sen. Charles E. Schumer announced that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is moving to place a ban on the possession and sale of chemicals or products that contain mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and methylone—the key ingredients of “bath salts”.
In January, Schumer called on the DEA to ban mephedrone and MDPV, and had subsequently introduced the “Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011” to ban them if the DEA had not acted.
With the DEA announcement last Wednesday, Sept. 7, these chemicals will be made illegal for a least one year while the agency and the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) continue to study whether these chemicals should be permanently banned.
Bath salts have a similar effect on the body as cocaine and methamphetamines. The dangerous ingredients in the drugs can be snorted, smoked, and injected.
“I am pleased the DEA has finally heeded our call to ban these drugs by making them illegal controlled substances.
While this is a solid first step, we need to ensure that these drugs stay off the market for good,” said Schumer. “I will push to permanently ban these drugs until the threat of this scourge is removed from our neighborhoods, our schools, and from store counters across the country.”
Bath salts are sold online, at convenience stores, and in smoke shops under names like Tranquility, Zoom, Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.
According to numerous reports, the chemicals found in these bath salts and plant foods cause effects similar to those caused by cocaine and methamphetamines, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.
In one case, a user was reported to have resorted to self-mutilation after abusing the substance. In several cases, users have died after overdosing or because of violent behavior.
The synthetic chemicals in bath salts are uncontrolled substances with no known medicinal purpose. The harmful impact of these powders has been recognized around the country, and a majority of states in the U.S. have banned the substance. Countries around the world have also banned the substance, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Israel.
In January, Schumer announced that he would be introducing legislation to ban the drugs. The bill would make bath salts illegal in the United States by adding the active ingredients to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies drugs that are illegal and cannot be prescribed under any circumstances.
The announcement, Schumer stated, indicates the DEA will ban the possession and sale of bath salts nationwide. In 30 days or more, the DEA plans to issue the order, which will classify these drugs as Schedule I substances. The DEA exercised its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control these stimulants, banning them for one year once the final order is given.
The DEA reported that they had been receiving an increasing number of reports from poison centers, hospitals, and law enforcement regarding these products.
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