New Jersey two months ago banned a methamphetamine-style drug known as “bath salts” that had been sold legally in smoke shops and gas stations, says the Newark Star-Ledger. Other synthetic narcotics remain prevalent, causing some to wonder if the battle with so-called designer drugs is just beginning. New Jersey poison officials say drug users continue to smoke “K2,” a synthetic marijuana, despite a ban. Hospitals in Pennsylvania have seen patients suffering manic episodes and exaggerated heart rates after using “2CE” or “BromoDragonFly,” stimulants similar to bath salt.
Designer drugs are a “constantly evolving” problem, says acting Consumer Affairs Director Thomas Calcagni. “Our aim is to be proactive, to jump on the problem before it becomes unmanageable,” he said. “We're attempting to head off something that has every indication of becoming a much larger problem.” In the two months since New Jersey issued its emergency ban, wielding an authority Calcagni says went unused for more than 41 years, hospitals reported 15 bath salts cases.