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Synthetic drugs and the law

The term "bath salts" has taken on a double meaning in recent years. On the one hand, this phrase is used to describe tiny rocks or sand that one places under running water in the bath tub in order to soften and scent bath water. However, this phrase has also come to describe a group of synthetic drugs with appealing names like Blue Light, Purple Tranquility and Bliss.

It is important to understand that these drugs are not only illegal under most circumstances but they are also quite dangerous. According to Findlaw, these drugs can cause temporary effects like nausea and vomiting and psychological effects like suicidal thoughts, hallucinations paranoia and violent behaviors. They can also cause vascular effects like spikes in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as long-term effects like liver and kidney failure. Tragically, taking these drugs can also be a fatal decision.

Beyond the physical dangers of these drugs, they pose legal dangers as well. Some manufacturers of bath salts and other synthetic drugs continually attempt to skirt the illegality of certain synthetics by changing the chemical compositions of their latest drugs. However, it does not generally take federal and state authorities long to identify new synthetics and to place them under the jurisdiction of illegal substance regulations. Therefore, if you are told that a given synthetic is not illegal, it probably is illegal or will be illegal in the very, very near future.

Some bath salts are labeled "not for human consumption" in order to help manufacturers avoid federal scrutiny. If a label states this restriction, please heed it to the letter.

Source: Findlaw Blotter, "Are the New Synthetic Drugs Illegal?" Le Trinh, May 8, 2015

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