Officials react to "bath salt" abuse surge
BATON ROUGE- It's a substance that some doctors say is sweeping the nation as the new over-the-counter way of getting a high. A white powder, commonly disguised as bath salts, is being snorted, injected, and in some cases smoked to create a high similar to cocaine.
Dr. Mark Ryan, the Director of the Louisiana Poison Center, says 22 states have reported cases of people seeking treatment after side effects. Since September, he says, they have received over 90 calls from doctors or patients looking for treatment advice.
"We're not exactly sure why the problem with this substance started here in Louisiana. It's really unusual that a lot of these cases are starting in the emergency room with the doctors calling us for help," Ryan said.
The poison center says they receive four to five calls a day from doctors with treatment questions. Just as synthetic marijuana was banned last August, Ryan says plans are in place to take down forms of this substance as well.
"Just like we did with k2 and spice in the last legislative session, this stuff will be regulated and the sale and use will be banned just like k2 and spice," Ryan said.