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DEA bans chemicals in designer drug bath salts

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has banned the designer drug known and sold as "bath salts," or sometimes "plant food." The DEA has banned the three chemicals most commonly included in the products: mephedrone, MDPV and methylone. The ban is a temporary ban for a year, but could be extended for another six months.

It is already illegal in New Jersey to possess, sell, distribute or manufacture bath salts. The DEA ban makes it a federal crime to manufacture, distribute, sell or possess the designer drug products.

During the temporary ban, the DEA will study the effects of the designer drug and determine whether they are dangerous for humans and should be permanently banned. The temporary ban places the chemicals on the DEA's list of the most dangerous drugs, which are drugs that have no medical value and are most likely to lead to abuse.

According to a recent piece by PBS NewsHour, authorities became alarmed after reports mounted of people becoming seriously ill, committing violent crimes against others or hurting themselves after taking the designer drugs. In 2010, the reports to poison centers across the country of people becoming ill after using bath salts totaled 303. Already in 2011, the total calls reporting illness from bath salts have increased to 5,226.

Source: PBS NewsHour, "New Ban on Bath Salts After 'People Started Dying From It,'" Jason Kane, Oct. 25, 2011

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