Illegal Drugs Come Disguised as Bath Salts

Filed under: In The News

A sheriff in update New York is warning parents about illegal drugs sold online and disguised to look like bath salts and other innocent household products.

"You think, 'Oh that's nothing, they're going to use it in their bath.' That isn't true. They're hiding it from you. They're hiding it from their parents," Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd tells WSYR, the local ABC affiliate.

The station reports workers at the region's poison control center had 10 calls for problems with "bath salts" last year. So far this year, according to WSYR, that number has quadrupled. Across the nation, there is reportedly a 700 percent increase in bath salt incidents over last year.

James Burns, the assistant special agent in charge of the DEA's Upstate offices, tells WSYR tracking down the dealers is tough.

"This stuff is coming from overseas," he says. "It's coming from the Far East. It's coming from Europe, and it's being distributed via people putting in orders using the Internet."

The ersatz bath salts are banned in New York, but WSYR reports federal enforcement has been more difficult. Each chemical used to make the salts must go through the long process of being declared illegal. Manufacturers regularly create new chemical combinations to stay ahead of drug enforcers.

Oswego County Public Health Educator Angela Cimilluca tells the station parents can look for tell-tale clues in the packaging.

"Where we might think of bath salts as being in a little plastic container that we unscrew, these bath salts seem to be coming in little foil packages with a rip top," she says.

The drugs are also sold as crystals, powders and liquids with a variety of names -- including Purple Wave, White Dove and Blue Magic.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.