State bans bath salts used as meth substitutes

April 21, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. April 21, 2011

State health officials filed emergency rules to curb the rising use of bath salts used as substitutes for cocaine and methamphetamine.

The state Board of Pharmacy acted after the Washington Poison Center reported a growing number of calls about people who had ingested the bath salts. Half of the calls came from hospital emergency rooms.

The center said the number of calls related to bath salt ingestion has increased threefold — to 39 calls — from last year.

Sold as “bath salts,” products featuring colorful names, such as Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Zoom, contain stimulants called substituted cathinones. The stimulants affect behavior and judgment. Moreover, the bath salts have a high potential for abuse and can be dangerous to human health.

Users typically inhale the bath salts in a manner similar to snorting cocaine. The board has also posted a Q&A about the products.

The state board put the rule into effect April 15. On April 7, the board unanimously voted to create emergency rules to ban sale and possession of substituted cathinone products in Washington.

Under the rules, it is illegal to make, sell deliver, or possess substituted cathinone products in Washington.

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