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DEA Bans Three Bath Salt Chemicals for One Year


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued an emergency order to ban three chemicals used to make “bath salts” or “plant food” for at least a year while the agency conducts studies on whether the products should be made permanently illegal. Mephedrone, Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and Methylone are all used to make the increasingly popular street drugs and are an “imminent threat to public safety.”

Bath salts are marketed with names such as “Ivory Wave”, “Vanilla Sky”, and “Bliss” and sold in tobacco shops, gas stations, convenience stores, and online. The combination of chemicals are snorted, smoked, or injected and mimic the effects of other illicit drugs such as cocaine, LSD and ectasy. Users report feelings of euphoria, sexual stimulation, and an enhanced appreciation for music.

However, an increasing number of users are reporting to poison control centers and emergency departments with extreme paranoia, violent episodes, impaired perception and reduced motor control. Other side effects include chest pain, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), hypertension, insomnia, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

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Long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown as there have been no formal studies on the drugs.

The DEA’s order classifies mephedrone (4-MMC), Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and Methylone (M1) as a Schedule 1 substance, the DEA’s most restrictive list. Possessing and/or selling these chemicals will be illegal for at least one year while the agency evaluates further action.

The chemical ingredients were already banned in several states including Louisiana, Florida, and New Jersey, but these actions cannot prevent online sales.

“This action demonstrates our commitment to keeping our streets safe from these and other new and emerging drugs that have decimated families, ruined lives, and caused havoc in communities across the country,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “These chemicals pose a direct and significant threat, regardless of how they are marketed, and we will aggressively pursue those who attempt their manufacture and sale.”

Source: Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) at www.justice.gov