Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Drug Crazed

How come US authorities waited so long to ban the insidious designer drugs known collectively as “bath salts?” Why did bath salts remain legal after users began to exhibit signs of advanced psychosis and schizophrenia, sometimes running nude in the streets or violently attacking total strangers?

Reporter Nick Lazaredes from SBS Dateline in Australia journeys to America to investigate the bath salts epidemic and the belated efforts of authorities to control the sale and distribution of these drugs, designed to provide a cheap alternative to cocaine and methamphetamine.

Similar in chemical composition to “meow meow,” another designer drug banned in Great Britain in 2010, most bath salts appear to be coming from China. Under-the-counter sales of the drugs have been linked to smoke shops and convenience stores in cities across the United States. One of the reasons they have been tough to control: As soon as lawmakers ban specific chemicals found in bath salts, the chemists manufacturing the drugs will simply tweak their formulas to create different compounds not covered under the ban.

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Meanwhile, Hank Snow, host of the SciShow, briefs us on the science behind how bath salts affect our brains and bodies.

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