Bath salt poisoning incidents soar

Oct. 24, 2011 at 10:19 PM
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HONOLULU, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Bath salt poisoning incidents treated in hospitals increased from 302 for all of last year to 1,782 since January, U.S. researcher say.

Bath salts are not the salts people use to take a bath with, but a relatively new recreational drug that gets its name from its crystal form, similar to traditional bath salts. They are typically snorted, injected or smoked.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City said a man experienced significant agitation, paranoia and hallucinations -- and exhibited violent behavior -- upon his hospital emergency department arrival.

The inexpensive powdery substance, which contain stimulants not detectable through drug screens, is sold with the disclaimer of "not for human consumption" package warning, the researchers said.

However, the drug can produce a "high" along with increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions -- not unlike those experienced by the Oklahoma patient, the researchers said.

Federal law does not currently cover the drug but 26 states have made the substances illegal, the researchers said.

The findings were presented at CHEST, the 77th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Honolulu.

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