The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill on Thursday that would ban the stimulant drugs known as “bath salts.” The bill, sponsored by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, would make two chemicals in bath salts, mephedrone and MDPV, illegal to possess or sell. Both chemicals would be added to the list of controlled Schedule I substances, The New York Times reports. The bill will now go to the full Senate.
Bath salts are sold in convenience stores or head shops, and are also available online. They are sold under names such as Vanilla Sky and Ivory Wave.
Bath salts have grown increasingly popular in the last year. Emergency rooms are seeing a growing number of people high on the drugs. They come in powder and crystal form, and are snorted, injected or smoked. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says poison control centers received 3,470 calls about bath salts during the first six months of this year, a jump from 303 calls in all of 2010.
The drugs can cause extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, rapid heart rate, chest pain and suicidal thoughts.
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