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Good Question: What are bath salts and why are they so dangerous?

Last week the owner of a western Kentucky convenience store was charged with selling bath salts containing a banned chemical.

The substance is making headlines across the country even being blamed for causing some deaths.

Good Question: What are bath salts and why are they so dangerous?

It may say bath salt, but really it's a product that is not what you think it is.

"These are really truly a front, never been intended to be put into a bath, they are intended to be substance of abuse," said Dr. Eric Holstege, Virginia Poison Control Medical Director.

With names like Ivory Wave, White Dove and Cloud Nine, health experts say the tiny packages labeled as bath salts and sold in gas stations are a legal way to buy dangerous drugs.

Crystal Johnson of Mobile, Alabama says that's what she was looking for.

"You know a 24 hour high, something that would give me energy," says Johnson.

In Louisiana, the drug is being blamed for the suicide of a 21 year old and in Tennessee police say some teenagers have overdosed on it.

States like Louisiana, Florida an North Dakota have banned the products, others like West Virginia and Mississippi are working on it.

In Kentucky, Ballard County banned the substances in December and won't allow the sale of the product.

On the street its known as legal cocaine and speed, police call it synthetic ecstasy.

The products contain MDPV, a chemical that mimics the effects of cocaine or heroin and users snorting or smoking the bath salts are experiencing severe side effects.

"It was crazy hallucinations, just thought people were after me and trying to kill me and were gonna get me," said Johnson.

For teens, experts say the risk is higher, insomnia, depression, heart murmurs and even suicide all from a packet and a pill that's cheap and right now legal.


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