Georgetown County town bans bath salts that cause hallucinations and death
Mon, 22 Aug 2011 22:40:40 GMT —
The small Town of Andrews in Georgetown County has a big problem.
"Our main concern is we don't want any young people hooked on this thing," says Andrews Mayor Rodney Giles.
Last week, his town banned the synthetic drug sold as bath salts that some people are using to get high, and he says it's tearing his town apart.
"I heard that the chemical makeup of the drug is just one chemical away from crystal meth, and we know how deadly that drug is."
When ingested, the substance causes hallucinations, can shut down the liver and sometimes result in death.
But these bath salts banned in Andrews don't include the same ingredients as the bath salts you buy at major retailers that you pour into your bath tub. These bath salts contain an hallucinigenic stimulant similar to pcp, and they're sold at gas stations, convenience stores and online in small packets.
The South Carolina Poison Control Director Jill Michels says this year more than 70 cases of bath salts misuse have been reported and calls are increasing every month.
"The person taking these drugs will become dehydrated, paranoid and agitated," she says. Other symptoms include loss of weight and appetite.
Giles grew up in Andrews and says bath salts are killing it one gram at a time.
"There's no drug test to detect it so it's hard to detect. With a drug being that potent and that fatal we have to take a proactive stand."
People sometimes mix the salts in food or drinks, snort it, inject it and smoke it.
In 28 states, bath salts are banned, but they're legal in South Carolina which left Andrews' Police Chief Jennifer Flowers helpless.
"It was hard for me to tell the parents that there is nothing I can do. There's no laws in place," she says. "I just couldn't swallow that so I had to do something."
With more than 150 reports of bath salts misuse a month, Andrews town leaders placed an emergency ordinance banning the manufacturing, sale, and possession of bath salts within city limits.
Anyone caught with bath salts will get a thousand dollar fine and up to 30 days in jail.
"We wanted to try to take a stance right off the start before it got too far out of hand," says Flowers.
The small town mayor wants the ban to reach big government.
"It's coming and they have to be ready to tackle that issue. Like I said earlier, one fatality is too much."