First, “Spice” and other forms of synthetic marijuana
had to be dealt with, and those who are against it scored a small victory when spice, technically sold as incense, was banned for a period of one year. Now, however, there is another substance that has become a cause for concern: synthetic cocaine
, being marketed as bath salts, insect repellant, or plant fertilizers.
A news release
on PR Newswire warns against these products, which are reportedly resulting in abusers winding up in emergency rooms across the country. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, said: “We are incredibly concerned about the extreme paranoia being reported by people who are taking these drugs.”
The products have the ability to mimic the effects of methamphetamine abuse
, according to the release. They are thought to contain a chemical called Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)
, which does not have approval for medical use in the United States. Initially, these products were only being sold on the Internet; now, however, abusers are able to find them at gas stations and head shops as well. These “legal” cocaine
-wannabes go by several aliases: "Red Dove," "Blue Silk," "Zoom," "Bloom," "Cloud Nine," "Ocean Snow," "Lunar Wave," "Vanilla Sky," "Ivory Wave," "White Lightning," "Scarface" and "Hurricane Charlie."
Alvin C. Bronstein, medical director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center and the acting director of toxic surveillance for the American Association of Poison Control Centers, shared that his office has observed a “definite increase” in reports about these substances, so much so that it has become a health threat “that needs to be taken seriously.”