New drug laws in Illinois include ban on 'bath salts'

July 25, 2011

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(AP/Sid Albritton)
Harmful chemicals in "bath salts" are in products sold legally such as plant food. They're not intended for human consumption.

Several new drug abuse laws in Illinois are now in effect. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed laws on Friday. One includes a ban on the abuse of bath salts.

If names like Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky, Ocean Burst, Purple Rain sound like names of soothing bath salts, they probably are. But they're also names of now illegal substances dubbed "bath salts" that are abused through snorting, injecting, ingesting or smoking.

A substance in the salts known as MDPV for short is reported to produce similar effects as cocaine and speed. But it can also produce hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and psychotic behavior. This past April a woman from Alton, Illinois overdosed and died.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported more than 3,740 bath salt related calls to their centers between January and July this year. That's more than ten times the calls they fielded relating to the substances in all of 2010. 

Illinois now joins a dozen or so other states that classify MDPV as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Governor Quinn said in a statement regarding the new laws that Illinois drug policies should be, "aggressive, current and responsive."

Other substance abuse legislation passed Friday includes a law that expands the definition of a drug-induced homicide to include the absorption of a controlled substance. It closes a loophole so that transdermal fentanyl patches can't be abused.

Another signed law cracks down on drug abuse by adding some synthetic equivalents of cannabis to Schedule 1 controlled substances. Some street names of these equivalents are "spice" and "K2."