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Synthetic drug "bath salts" banned in Washington

Bath salts of the legal variety, used as intended
SuperFantastic (Bruce)
Bath salts of the legal variety, used as intended

Why were "bath salts" for sale in head shops? Because they contained stimulants known as substituted cathinonesthat can affect user behavior and judgment. They've been growing in popularity as a legal alternative to cocaine or methamphetamine.

As of April 15th, they're no longer legal in Washington; the state Board of Pharmacy has approved emergency rules classifying the salts as Class I controlled substances, banning their manufacture, sale, delivery and possession.

The bath salts were sold under brand names such as Ivory Wave, Zoom and Red Dove. This is the second time this year that the pharmacy board has moved to ban synthetic drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids, a marijuana substitute sold as Spice or K2, were banned in January.

Officials say substituted cathinones may cause increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, chest pains, and other harmful effects. You can learn more at the Board of Pharmacy website.


Dave Meyer has been anchoring KNKX news shows since 1987. He grew up along the shores of Hood Canal near Belfair and graduated from Washington State University with degrees in communications and psychology.