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K2/Spice and bath salts now illegal in NC

According to the Centers for Disease Control, poison control centers representing 45 states and the District of Columbia reported receiving telephone calls related to bath salts in 2011. As of April, these centers had already received five times the number of bath salts calls in 2011 than in all of 2010.

The CDC says people are smoking, snorting and injecting the bath salts as a way to get a legal high.

"Bath Salts [are] a very dangerous item that is being abused as a drug," Iredell Sheriff Phil Redmond said last week when three people were found "very nervous and seemed to be very impaired" from allegedly injecting the salts.

The scientific name for the active compound in bath salts is methylenedioxypyrovalerone, a synthetic derived from a plant called a cathione. Once in the body, it delivers the effects of LSD, ecstasy and cocaine all in one.

"[People] crave for it and can't get away from it," said Dr. Ben Gottschalk, the medical director of Wilmington Treatment Center. "I've seen people with marks all up their arms because they couldn't stop shooting it."

Under the new law, ingredients in bath salts are Schedule I controlled substances, meaning they have a high potential for abuse. Spice chemicals will be classified as having a low potential for abuse. Sale and manufacture will be a felony; possession charges will vary depending on the amount of the substance.

At least 28 states have banned one or more of these substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently added synthetic cannabinoids to their controlled substance list.

Written by: WBTV and The Associated Press
Posted: Jun 09, 2011 by Lisa Callaham

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