The president of the Illinois State Medical Society wants all medical personnel to be aware of the illicit drugs known as “bath salts,” and of their effects.
Dr. William Werner says despite being illegal, they are easily available at truck stops and head shops, and over the Internet.
They carry such names as Potpourri and Cotton Candy.
“Because it has both a stimulant and a depressive effect, it can cause you to feel very uncomfortable and hot, it can make your pulse race and cause palpitations, elevate your blood pressure,” says Werner. “Probably the most significant thing that’s sending calls to poison centers and visits to the emergency rooms are hallucinations and terrifying paranoia.”
Werner says there are ways in which “bath salts” are different from drugs popular in earlier decades.
“When you read about and hear about some of the patients that present in the emergency department you don't come down from the effects of these like some drugs," says Werner. "It may persist for some time."
Werner says the combinations of chemicals used can be rearranged into forms that may not be specifically illegal.