Ohio's ban on synthetic marijuana and “bath salts” went into effect yesterday, to the relief of physicians who say the fallout from using the designer drugs has become a daily event in some local emergency departments, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Sold under brand names such as Spice and Vanilla Sky as “incense” or “bath salts,” the substances have little in common with legitimate products meant to perfume a room or enhance a warm bath.
Physicians say the worst of the reactions tend to come from the bath salts, which are smoked, snorted, or injected. The drug can increase blood pressure and heart rate and trigger confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. Dr. Paul Gabriel, director of emergency medicine at Grant Medical Center, likened the explosive reactions to those that doctors saw from angel dust 40 years ago. “These guys are just out of their minds,” he said. The ban in Ohio on the sale and possession of the substances comes ahead of a similar action being sought by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA began taking steps last month to temporarily label bath salts as controlled substances, which would preclude their sale or distribution even in states that haven't banned them as Ohio has.