Detroit (WWJ) The Michigan Department of Community Health has issued a warning about a new designer drug after 18 people were treated in emergency rooms over the past four weeks.
The new drug is being marketed as “bath salts” and is sold across the country at head shops, convenience stores, and on the street.
The health department says the drugs are not commercially manufactured bath salts that people purchase to use in the bath tub. These products are sold with names such
as “Ivory Wave”, “Aura”, “ZOOM 2”, “Zeus 2”, “Cosmic Blast”, and “White Rush.” They may be snorted, ingested mixed with
water, injected, or inserted rectally or vaginally.
The “bath salt” products may contain a number of synthetic chemicals including Methylmethcathinone or Methylenedioxypyrovalerone
(MDVP), both of which are strong stimulants that can cause increased heart rate, chest pains, dizziness, delusions, panic attacks, nose
bleeding and nausea.
Health officials say people ingesting the chemicals can be extremely paranoid and may not respond to usual calmatives. Some have been
involved in homicides and suicides while under the influence. Many describe being chased by demons, gods, aliens or foreign soldiers.
Severe cases may require long-term psychiatric care.
“We are very concerned about the use of this dangerous product. These stimulants affect neurotransmitters in the brain which can result in
violent behavior and death,” said Dr. Gregory Holzman, Chief Medical Executive for the health department, in a statement.
Most of the emergency room visits have been in the Marquette area and have involved people in their 20’s and 30’s.
Health care providers are being asked to send all information on suspect cases directly to the Michigan Poison Control Center.
Individuals with “bath salt” related medical concerns or questions are asked to call the Michigan Toxic Hotline at (800) 648-6942