Drug Marketed as Herb, "Bath Salts" Raising Local Concern

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

A stimulant drug being legally sold as an herb in head shops is raising concern for local health leaders.

They're known as "bath salts" and not the kind you bathe in. According to Sue Nowak, a certified alcohol and drug prevention specialist, they're very dangerous and they're in Central Wisconsin.

Nowak says bath salts are a stimulant that acts like speed, making the user's heart rate increase and giving them a euphoric high. She says when users come down, they get very depressed.

The chemicals inside the drug marketed as an herb are mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MPVD.

Nowak says users have told her the high made them feel like they were having a heart attack.

"We have had hospitalizations in Marathon County already from this drug, there's been emergency room visits, there's been people that have ended up in intensive care in our area and in surrounding counties as well," she said.

The other problem is there's no research on the effects of this drug, making it even more dangerous.

"The belief is that this is actually more dangerous than meth or cocaine and we know how dangerous those drugs are," Nowak said.

The bath salts are sold in small containers or packages and look like the bath salts made for bathing. Nowak says it costs between $15-50. The product is legal in Wisconsin.

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