Bath Salt Chemical Causes Hallucinations

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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Bath Salt Chemical Causes Hallucinations

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Next time you take a soothing bath, you may be visited by some strange visions.

Some brands of bath salts contain chemicals that, when misused, can cause a meth-like high. Suicidal behavior, hallucinations, and paranoia are all symptoms of use.

In order to get high off the salts, you'd have to snort, inject, or smoke them, so there's no risk of hallucinations if you're just soaking in the tub. But that hasn't stopped addicts from trying to get the chemicals into their bodies any way they can.

In response, some states may ban the bath salts. Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana all have proposals in the works to get the substances off of store shelves. Abuse in Florida is among the highest in the nation. Authorities in Louisiana believe they've identified at least one death as a result of bath salt use.

A federal ban by the DEA could take years, since they require intense scrutiny.

One reason for the sudden outbreak of bath salt abuse is the restriction on the sale of cold medicine. With addicts unable to mix meth from pseudoephedrine, they've turned to increasingly volatile sources for their high.

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