Florida officials seizing ‘bath salts’

Published 8:41 pm Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bath salts as a drug?

Florida officials have banned the so-called “bath salts” — which is actually a synthetic stimulant, and not to be confused the fragrant substance you might find in beauty stores.

Narcotics investigators with the Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office have visited 23 locations, consisting of specialty smoke shops, convenience stores and other retail outlets, and seized a total of 164 bags of illegal “Bath Salts” from four of those locations, sheriff’s officials said.

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Immediately following an emergency rule made by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Wednesday, declaring this chemical as a Schedule I controlled substance, members of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit spread throughout the county and began to seize this deadly chemical.

“We are required to enforce this emergency order, but we aren’t interested in arresting those that cooperate during this initial seizure,” sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Chris Welborn said. “Those that do not cooperate could face felony charges for possession.”

The seized “bath salts” had a retail value of $60 to $100 per bag.

The employees of the stores visited by deputies were all cooperative and no arrests were made.

In a few days, after this initial awareness and compliance period, narcotics deputies will be checking the stores again. Anyone found in possession of the Schedule I substance could be then be arrested.

Users smoke, snort or inject the bath salts to get high. People using the bath salts as a narcotic have been treated for paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, agitation, hypertension, chest pain and headaches. Some users reported suicidal thoughts.