BUFFALO, N.Y--Today, as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced
recent New York State Department of Health (DOH) regulations that
crack down on bath salts on the University at Buffalo's South
Campus, the UB Research Institute on Addictions was releasing
another in its series of expert summaries--fact sheets explaining
the dangers of bath salts--what they are, how they work on the
central nervous system and points for parents dealing with kids
Cuomo described bath salts as a serious threat to public safety
and added, "We must do everything we can to remove these harmful
substances from sale and distribution in New York.
"The actions we are announcing today attack the problem by
helping our law enforcement officers enforce the rules, expanding
the list of banned substances used to manufacture bath salts, and
imposing tougher penalties so those who sell these drugs are held
RIA director, Kenneth Leonard, PhD, agrees.
"Our expert summaries are dedicated to educating our
communities--academic, health care and health consumers--on the
health consequences of specific addictive substances and/or
behaviors. This is our fourth summary and it coincides with the
governor's address, hopefully creating the maximum public education
Leonard stressed that these summaries raise awareness about
RIA's focus on addiction and help parents stay abreast of what
their children's exposure to addictive substances may be.
According to the latest summary, bath salts often contain the
compounds 3, 4-methylenedioxypryrovalerone (MDPV) and/or
mephedrone. They appear as an odorless, powdery substance or a
crystal, liquid or tablet.
Bath salts are central nervous stimulants and act like cocaine,
methamphetamine or MDMA ("ecstasy").
Leonard points out that bath salt abuse is an escalating public
health problem with poison control centers in 2010 logging 304
calls about bath salts.
In 2011, these calls jumped to 6,138, he says. And with the
development of commercial drug tests that can detect these illicit
drugs, newer versions of these drugs are likely to be synthesized
to avoid detection.
"It is of utmost importance that we educate the public to
recognize the physical appearance bath salts and how they cause
individuals to behave when ingested. One part of the equation is
regulation; the other part is to arm citizens with the
facts—which is part of RIA's mission," says Leonard.
He added, "Routine drug screens do not detect bath salts and the
risk of overdose on these compounds is high, especially when taken
Bath Salts may be sold as White Lightning, Snow Leopard,
Tranquility, Zoom, Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky, and
Because of the New York State DOH regulations put in place
today, local law enforcement officials will be able to pursue
perpetrators under state laws for the first time and refer
violators to local district attorneys for prosecution.
To download a copy of the Expert Summary, "RIA Reaching Others:
'Bath Salts' Synthetic Drugs," visit: http://www.ria.buffalo.edu/summaries/exprtsumms.html