The growing popularity of synthetic drugs such as “bath salts” is spurring an increase in makeshift drug labs in towns across the country.
Making drugs in at-home labs can translate into big profits, according to the StarTribune. The article notes industry experts estimate there are hundreds of home-grown synthetic drug labs around the country.
One drug maker, Rodger Seratt of Fairdealing, Missouri, told the newspaper he learned his trade online, and can make $2,400 worth of bath salts in 30 minutes. Because the state recently banned chemicals in bath salts, he is now making a new line of powders and herb products.
Laboratory analysis of Seratt’s bath salts show the drug contained 23 percent MDPV, a stimulant that has effects similar to LSD or methamphetamine. They also had a high concentration of the surgical anesthetic lidocaine. According to Cody Wiberg, Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, lidocaine can cause irregular heartbeats, seizures, coma and death if it is abused.
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