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Sheriff warns about bath salts ‘new high’
by Tribune Staff
Mar 09, 2011 | 621 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is alerting the public about a new way to get high that is perfectly legal, readily available, and can be extremely dangerous if consumed.

This new high is sold under the guise of exotic, concentrated bath salts.

“These are not your everyday ‘soak in the tub’ brands of bath salts,” said Diane Machen, a criminalist with the sheriff’s Forensic Science Division. “These are highly concentrated substances packaged as bath salts that may contain mephedrone and the compound MDPV.”

Machen said these types of chemicals are intentionally marketed to teenagers because pushers try to convince youth that they can get high without really doing anything wrong since the substances aren’t illegal.

“Parents and children need to remember that just because something is legal and easily available for purchase doesn’t mean it can’t be extremely harmful,” she said.

Fake bath salts are becoming a growing drug problem in several eastern states. Authorities in states such as Mississippi and Kentucky are already looking at banning their sale.

Only a few cases involving these substances have been received locally. However, sheriff’s authorities feel now is the time to make parents aware of the existence of the potential problem since the target market often is children.

Fake bath salts are not typically found at the standard bath and body store but are available over the counter at convenience stores, head shops and over the Internet.

The substance is usually sold in small containers with exotic names like Tranquility, Red Dove, Ivory Snow or Vanilla Sky.

Small amounts of the powder are extremely expensive to buy. For example, a 500 mg bottle sells for almost $30.

Machen encourages parents to stay ahead of the curve by educating themselves about the latest trends in substance abuse, particularly for substances that are not illegal and many of which were not even heard of a decade or so ago.

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