A Bubbling New Drug Problem?

By: Alexandra Hill Email
By: Alexandra Hill Email

Over the past 3 weeks, local hospitals have reported a significant rise in the number of people they've treated for ingesting bath salts. As Alexandra Hill tells us, sheriff's officials say they want to address the problem immediately.

Bath salts, marketed under the names Blue Silk, White Lightning, Blue Diamond, Mojo Diamond, and Tranquility, are the newest synthetic drug danger.

"It's very very scary and concerning to us in the medical field."

Local emergency rooms have seen a sharp increase in the number of people suffering from symptoms of bath salt ingestion. Users snort or inject the substance, which any adult can by at local head shops. A 500-milligram packet of the white powder for around $40.

Frank McKeithen, Bay County Sheriff, says, "People are not going to pay 40 dollars for a bath powder that's less than the amount in a Sweet 'N Low. It's common knowledge it's being used. It's being ingested. It's being abused, but they're selling it."

Medical professionals say the drug is 10 to 15 times more potent than meth or cocaine.

Symptoms can include unfounded fear, rambling speech, paranoia, hallucinations, increased body temperature, extreme sweating, and superman-like strength and endurance.

Rusti Taylor, Bay Medical Center ER Director says, "It's taking 5,6,7,8 guys to get these guys sedated. This is an issue. This is a problem and it's inevitable if it continues on the trail its on now that someone is going to die."

With spring break approaching, McKeithen fears its use will reach epidemic levels.

"We have thousands of kids coming to Panama City Beach for a great time. Unfortunately, there's always something that gets in the way and we're just trying to get out there before we have that perfect storm."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Landers Location: usa on Jan 24, 2011 at 10:37 AM
    Stop the nightmare! Legalize ALL DRUGS!If druggers want to die, let them.The law won't let them die; it would take away to much money from law enforcement. Never mind what it would save taxpayers in "so called" rehabilitation and housing. The government could make trillions by legalization, packaging and sale from stores such as Liquor Stores. It would create jobs for non druggies and excess revenue to care for the elderly. Stop wasting tax payers money jailing these people; they go right back to the drugs after jail anyway.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Jan 24, 2011 at 04:59 AM
    Anonymous,God did not make cocaine,stupid,man did.God made coca,that is not cocaine.Cocaine is made from coca,coca is not cocaine or it would be called cocaine,idiot.God also made corn,but he didn't make taco shells,doritos,flour,ect.That's all man made,so yes you are an idiot.
  • by Rach on Jan 22, 2011 at 06:17 PM
    Really, people who are stupid enough to snort bath salts are better off dead. :/ How sad, that they don't respect their life and bodies, and everything given to them. When there are homeless people living on the streets, and these people have food shelter and needed things, they feel "bored" or "sad" so they resort to pitiful drugs >_>
  • by Kyle C Location: WAKULLA on Jan 22, 2011 at 11:15 AM
    how bout you all worry about yourself, it isnt up to you or anyone else to tell me or anyone on earth what they can eat or smoke, the person taking the salt knows full well what it does, its the choice they made, it isnt up to you to tell anyone what to do with there life, if you dont like it, go to germany act like hitler and be an idiot. And for those idiots that say drugs make you go crazy and murder people, no no and no, people do thatto people, drugs dont do anything but you make you happy, end of story.
  • by Infidel on Jan 22, 2011 at 04:50 AM
    Can't fix stupid. God's means to 'thinning out' the herd.
  • by Kathy Location: Crawfordville on Jan 22, 2011 at 03:59 AM
    What will the stupid druggies think of next?
  • by anonymous Location: over yonder on Jan 22, 2011 at 12:50 AM
    I have to agree with one of the first posters...most people wouldnt even know about this if it werent for the easily accessible story in the media basically telling them how to get high.
  • by blinky Location: jasper on Jan 21, 2011 at 03:05 PM
    how is it a drug problem for the county if i buy or make drugs and od and die in my own home? havent harmed anyone.maby i wanted to die and was tired of looking and listeing to you idiot that know what is best for everyone else.
  • by tax payer Location: usa on Jan 21, 2011 at 03:00 PM
    i know a bath powder task force.
  • by if the shoe fits... Location: tally on Jan 21, 2011 at 01:27 PM
    God did not make cocaine, man made cocaine. God made coca. I don't see white powdery substances growing on plants that you can go up to and SNORT! And for that fact, God didn't make hash either.
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