Officials said a number of area teens, including one as young as 13, were admitted Saturday to hospital emergency rooms in Darke and Montgomery counties after abusing a dangerous designer drug that is marketed as “bath salts” and legal in Ohio.
Four teens went to Wayne Hospital in Greenville after being given bath salts by a friend, said Greenville police Lt. Steve Strick. The teens mixed bath salts with a soft drink and drank it, Strick said.
Abby M. Hey, age 18, was treated at Wayne Hospital’s intensive care unit.
The three juveniles — two age 16, and one age 13 — were transported to Children’s Medical Center of Dayton, he said.
Dayton Children’s emergency department on Saturday saw a total of five bath salts-related overdoses, said Moira Alter, a hospital spokeswoman.
Information about the other cases was not available because of the patients’ ages, she said.
These bath salts cases were the first seen at Dayton Children’s, Alter said.
Marketed as “concentrated bath salts,” the drug is a synthetic stimulant with hallucinogenic properties. It is sold in powder form at area head shops, convenience stores and gas stations.
Bath salts can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and seizures, according to the Central Ohio Poison Control Center in Columbus.
It has been linked to the deaths of three area people and is being investigated in two others, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
The Miami Valley Hospital emergency department has seen about one bath salts case a day since the second week of April, but patients have been in the 18 to 48 age range, hospital officials said.
Greenville police are considering charges against Hey, despite bath salts’ current legal status. “An 18-year-old adult gave basically poison to juveniles,” Strick said.
The drug’s active ingredient, methylenediopyrovalerone (MDPV), is reported to induce effects similar to cocaine, amphetamine and Ecstasy, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. MDPV is not approved for medical use in the U.S., the DEA said.
Several Greenville police officers have received training about bath salts “because we heard it is the new trend,” Strick said.
State Rep. Clayton Luckie, D-Dayton, has proposed legislation to classify some chemicals found in bath salts in the same category as LSD, marijuana and heroin.
The proposal, which has the backing of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, has been attached to the state budget bill set to be adopted by June 30.
Dayton Daily News
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Area hospitals witnessing more ‘bath salts’ illnesses