NEW ORLEANS - Laboratory tests confirm a substance seized by Customs agents in November at the Port of New Orleans is a synthetic drug similar to cocaine or methamphetamine, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Nancy Bonnaffons.
On Nov. 29, Customs agents detained a shipment after finding six packages containing a white powdery substance. On Dec. 21, lab tests confirmed that chemical was 3,4- Methylenedioxypyrovalerone hydrochloride, or MDPV -- the chemical agent found in fake bath salts.
Poison centers and emergency room across Louisiana have received numerous calls and visits from people using the fake bath salts after suffering from adverse side effects and overdoses from MDPV.
MPDV is found in the fake bath salts under product names likes Cloud Nine, Ivory Wave, Ocean, Charge plus, White Lightning, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove and White Dove. Though the bath salts are labeled not for human consumption, the drug is ingested by users either through snorting, smoking or injection to get a high. MDPV mimics the effects of methamphetamine or cocaine.
“While not a scheduled or controlled drug, MDPV has been documented as potentially addictive with dangerous adverse effects on the body and mind as stated by health practitioners,” said Bonnaffons.
After using the drug, according to an Associated Press story, “At least 84 people around Louisiana have been hospitalized because of paranoia, fighting, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and physical effects such as hypertension and rapid heartbeat -- most for a day or two but at least three of them for weeks, Mark Ryan, head of the Louisiana Poison Center.”
Monday, agents seized 13 pounds of MDPV, according to Customs officials.
Posted on December 30, 2010 at 11:45 AM
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