South Carolina’s health agency says it has taken a possible statewide ban of synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” off its agenda… for now.
“Bath salts” are sold legally across much of the state as a substitute for cocaine. They are not to be confused with the chemicals traditionally used in bathtubs. The drug has grown quickly in popularity in South Carolina after not even being on most people’s radar a year ago.
However, health experts say it is more dangerous than cocaine because it produces unpredictable results in the people who use it. The Palmetto Poison Center says it has gotten more than 140 calls about people using “bath salts” this year.
Earlier this week, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s board said it could take up a ban at its Thursday meeting. However, spokesman Adam Myrick said that was because Tuesday was the federal Drug Enforcement Administration was about to ban it nationwide.
However, DEA spokeswoman Barbara Carreno said this week is simply the end of the agency’s 30-day comment period. That just means the DEA now has the authority to issue an emergency ban of the chemicals in bath salts (Mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone), but could still take the action at a later date.
Since the DEA did not take any action this week, the board took the ban off its agenda.