"Bath Salts" Drug Banned in NY

By Andrew Siff
|  Saturday, May 21, 2011  |  Updated 11:22 AM EDT
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"Bath Salts" Drug Banned in NY

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A popular and easy to buy designer drug blamed for suicides and violent attacks is now illegal in New York.

The white powdery substance, known as "bath salts," has been a hot seller in recent months, according to law enforcement agencies and doctors. 

The state health commissioner, Nirav Shah, announced New York's ban late Friday. The law, considered a public health emergency order, takes effect immediately.

"These chemicals marketed as bath salts are a growing and dangerous threat," said Shah.

The health department said calls to poison centers related to bath salts have increased dramatically compared to one year ago.

One tobacco shop manager in Manhattan who sells the powder downplayed the danger. He said "people can abuse cough syrup, too."

But federal authorities counter bath salts can trigger suicidal thoughts and other violent tendencies.

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