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Headshop owner faces 10 years after new bath salt kills young mother.

By Alfa, Mar 14, 2012 | | |
  1. Alfa
    Austria, Gmunden
    Hanna D. a 20 year old mother of a 1 year old child, died of heart failure last Thursday afternoon. She was said to have consumed a bath salt product. Its unclear what research chemical the bath salt product contains. The toxicological analysis will take time.

    View attachment 25186
    Hanna had a meeting with her social worker at 3PM Thursday afternoon. In her social talk with her social worker she told that she had just picked up a free sample of a 'bath salt drug' at a local headshop and had consumed some of it on the way to the meeting.
    During the session, Hannah abruptly collapsed while her body went into a spasm or cramp. Emergency services were called in, which rushed Hannah to the hospital. Shortly after arrival in the Hospital, Hannah stopped breathing.

    Hannah's mother had spoken to her only one hour before her death. The dramatic news catched Hannahs mother completely unprepared and caused a mental breakdown.

    A facebook message gave the police more information about the source of the drug: Hannah friended a headshop on facebook. A facebook post stated 'The product has arrived!'
    When the police found out which headshop sold the bath salt drug to the woman, the police raided the headshop 'Head & Grow' located on the Bahnhofstrasse in Gmunden and arrested the 29 year old headshop owner: Doris G.
    Similar products were confiscated in the raid. The headshop was closed and sealed.
    The police had the headshop in sight before this accident but previously had no legal grounds to act. But a new 'novel psychoactive substances law' was introduced on January 1st 2012, which bans the sale of psychoactive drugs and explicitly defines a sentence of 10 years in jail for selling a psychoactive drug that leads to a fatality.

    View attachment 25187
    Hannahs brother and parents will raise the 1 year old that Hannah leaves behind.


  1. Tingley23
    i do not understand. i feel that the owner of the headshop shouldnt be in trouble. the product clearly stated on the package, " not meant for human consumption." Unless the owner told hanna to throw her head back and drop the salts down her nose, nothing will stick in courts.
  2. Alfa
    The headshop seems to have given out a free sample of a new product. The headshop owner likely had no idea that this product was deadly and blindly trusted the wholesaler that provided the product. However, the headshop should have sent samples to a lab for analysis first and should have requested documents like CoA and additional information from the supplier.

    If anyone has any idea which product / brand is involved, then please notify the staff.
  3. Alfa
    The website of the head and grow headshop shows one brand of bath salt product:

    Charge+ from the Herbal High co (UK)


    The Head and Grow website lists that they are temporarily out of stock, so it may well be possible that a new batch of Charge+ had arrived last Thursday.
    The producer writes this on their website:
    So whatever this new ingredient is, there seems to be a deadly problem with it.

    A Google search for Charge+ yields tens of thousands of search results. This product is quite wide spread.
  4. Soma84
    Is it not possible that the chemical involved (although psychoactive) is no more harmful than any other of the current research chemicals on the market, but she was unlucky and had some underlying health condition? A heart defect or something perhaps?

    Makes me wonder how accurately they can investigate these types of events.

    Regardless, it's a waste of a life and a tragedy for the little nipper and parents :s
  5. Alfa
    The product was new in stock. The headshop alerted Hannah that the product had arrived. The sample was given out for free. The producer lists they have launched a new ingredient in Charge+.

    These are all strong indications that there is a novel, misidentified or tainted ingredient introduced.
    We have seen a similar situation with Bromo-DragonFly which immediately caused deaths after arrival. Example: If you have ordered 2C-E from Chemicology then your life may be in danger
    It makes no sense to state that research chemicals have some common ground in harmfulness. Every drug has its risk profile. And that greatly differs per drug.
  6. hypernihl
    This is similar to a very bad trend happening in the U.S. where doctors are being charged with first degree murder when one of their patients overdoses on a prescribed drug.
  7. Anna Thema
    theres no evidence this was an overdose of bath salts per se, like the original article said, this was a free sample, which in my experience are always around 1 dose.

    While its all good to discuss the legal situation that the head shop owner finds themselves in thats not the primary concern with this report.

    The real problem is that a new, untested and unknown product is on the market that seems to have killed someone with one dose.

    We can assume that the young woman was reasonably healthy (she's given birth in the past year, which means here body was capable of maintaining a pregnancy to full term = reasonably healthy)
    We can guess that she may have had some experience of drug use before though this is only an assumption based on the fact that she already had a social worker, she was talking to her social worker about her drug use and had no worry about liking a head shop on her fb page, so like I said its a guess but in my opinion a reasonable one.

    The real issue here is what caused the death, is there a possibility that this substance could be in open circulation, is there a possibility that more deaths could be caused?

    Since one of the primary focuses of Drugs Forum is harm reduction then anyone with knowledge of the exact 'bath salt' involved in this situation, or any possible problems in others caused by the 'bath salt' in question, in fact any information at all posted here would be really useful.

    If we are dealing with another rogue batch of contaminated product then lives could be saved by the sharing of information.
  8. Space Numpty
    Its really quite simple. If you sell research chemicals to people as a legitimate company then you take on certain responsibilities which need to be adhered to.

    Please don't give me any crap like the "Not meant for human consumption" bullshit. Headshops are 100% aware what their products are being used for. Its why headshops sell them not bath salt shops. The same with "Plant Food". Ever seen it sold at a garden centre?

    Make no bones. If you are an RC vendor then you are basically scum, and headshops are the worst as they are clueless scum just out to capitalise on the "RC Rush". I have more respect for a smack dealer than these people who pedal "lucky-dip" products and then try to wash their hands when someone dies. If you sell RC's, fine, but don't expect people to be wanting you for the next Dalai Lama and don't try to alleviate your own conscience by bullshitting others.

    Personally i hope the vendor is charged with manslaughter.

    Another matter of concern is the lack of regulation with these substances. I would be happier if RC's where being produced in 1st world companies rather than backstreet labs in the far east. As long as this continues will be as long as we see fatalities over rogue batches and contamination, lets alone the long term dangers of these untested substances themselves.
  9. salgoud
    Yes I agree with Space Numpty to a point and I feel not the head shop owner, but the vendor that she obtained this bath salt from should be charged, also. Her charge should be lessened to Accessory perhaps, but one can't expect the "Head Shop" to foot the bill for everything they obtain and sell for "Chemical Analysis". It would cost very much for one enterprise to test everything. Anyway, the testing is so expensive when one doesn't even have a clue what is in the package. I know, I used to work in a Toxicology Lab and do chemical analysis on samples. I would cost a fortune. There would be no RC industry. Not that I care if there is or isn't.

    Then her underlying health, we know nothing about. That is important, no matter what anyone says. There are people out there that will die from one bee sting, or peanut butter. Maybe this young mother took too much for her heart to handle. The spasms and muscle contractions sound very similar to a cathinone overdose. All anyone can do is speculate, however, it would be nice to know where this sample came from to prevent further deaths if this is badly manufactured product, tainted with some new chemicals not illegal yet, or just a decomposed product.

  10. Alfa
    There is one important aspect to the liability of a vendor.

    By way of comparison:
    say you buy a can of baby milk powder from your local supermarket and it proves to be contaminated with melamine. (happened in massive scale in 2008) The supermarket is not responsible for not testing their products. Even though its meant to be consumed by babies. The reason is that is not economically viable for every supermarket to test all their products.
    Instead strict regulations imposed on producers and distributors include analysis of products, while retailers have to adhere to minor food safety regulations.
    So the supermarket is not liable when babies die from their products.

    If you extrapolate this to the headshop industry then you see that here the government has not implemented any kind of regulation or drug safety measures. Producers and distributors operate in the dark without any need for testing their research chemical products, nor any requirements or safeguards in regard to the products. Its in the complete absence of regulation that dramatic accidents like this can happen.

    Currently all the government does is ban specific drugs or categories of drugs. All that does is remove those drugs from the view of the government, and create the need for new drugs to be introduced. Basically the government states that people should not be using drugs. People use it anyway and are provided with it anyway.
    And the government has no answer to this. They do not dare to touch the sensitive topic that may destroy their career.
  11. Phenoxide
    Why not? It seems perfectly reasonable to me that if you're supplying a product that you know full well is going to be consumed and has potential for harm as Space Numpty previously mentioned, that you should be making every effort to ensure that the products you sell to the general public are as represented. If that means the price of the product must be increased to cover the cost of analytical testing then so be it.

    Analytical testing would be too expensive when working with single units, but when stocking many grams or kilograms of a "legal high" then it really wouldn't cut into the profit margins greatly to send a sample out for testing before putting it on the shelves. This notion that industry self-regulation is unaffordable just stems from the lazy, make a quick buck mentality that is so prevalent with RC distributors these days. In my opinion every wholesale operation in the supply chain should be testing their products, from the manufacturers right down to those selling to the end consumer.

    I personally don't think that's a reasonable extrapolation. With something like baby milk there is a preconception that the product will be safe for human consumption. There is no such preconception with legal highs.. we're aware that there is significant harm potential and therefore appropriate steps should be taken to minimize the risk to human life. That shouldn't require government intervention.. it should just be routine business practice.
  12. salgoud
    Why not, because it was a head shop, and these compounds are specifically stated: "They are not for Human Consumption". Even though we know otherwise. There needs to be testing done at a Certified Toxicology Lab, which should state what ingredients are in the "bath salt" or "plant food". However, because these "Bath Salts" and "Plant Food" are not for human consumption, in the U.S. all ingredients must be stated on the package, from Active Ingredients and even the Inactive Ingredients, must be on all products with chemicals in them. Even food products.

    Once the industry and government realize that these substance are going to be ingested, even though they are still "Plant Food" or "Bath Salts", they need to be analyzed and state what is really in them. However, then the whole RC industry will go down the toilet, which IMO, I could give a shit. It is unregulated now, and until they allow drugs to be sold at head shops, instead of "Incense", "Plant Food", or "Bath Salts" the products will only be analyzed by responsible wholesalers. From what one RC company says, that I think is the source, they say this about their shipments:

    "Our RC manufacturing facility is in China, but we dispatch from one of our worldwide warehouses it depends where we have product you have requested: U.S., Canada, China, New Zealand, Portugal or UK. Doesn't matter where we ship from. We guarantee secure shipments worldwide.

    Now that kind of statement means they can ship from a third world country or a country where the drugs are legal. There is really no way to stop it, because they could be operating anywhere in the world. Before these rogue chemical plants in China can be shut down, their must be some kind of treaty between countries. I just knew that this RC Industry was going to fall very soon, because of news like Alfa's. The only reason these products can be sold in the first place is because of the "Not For Human Consumption" clause. If you eat it, and you die, it's on you because you didn't follow the instructions on the label. However, if this substance had some illegal RC in it that killed this Woman, then they will be able to prosecute. However, she may have consumed to much phenethylamine and if she has Phenylketonuria (PKU), and phenylethylamine metabolizes to phenylacetic acid within 5-10 minute, this could kill a person with PKU. Because of their stringent laws on Research Chemicals, or any Chemicals for that matter. These chemicals are ingested. Like in the US, crack pipes and meth pipes are sold at gas stations with a little rose in them and sold as "Oil inscense burners", what a joke. I believe any chance of changing the RC industry to a legit legal drug industry, has gone down the LOO.

  13. Alfa
    A comparison to tobacco might be more applicable. That kills 5 million people per year.
    Realistically I do not think that when money is involved, voluntary regulation is likely. Any industry will cut corners if it saves money and there are no legal consequences.
    Regulation needs to be defined on both industry level and government level. But don't think any politician is brave enough to introduce research chemical & headshop safety regulations.
  14. Seaquake
    I have seen rc vendors say that a batch of new (to them) stuff they received which they had tested was unacceptably impure and it was scrapped. the stuff they were planning on stocking then didn't appear for a couple of months more. I guess there are good ones and there are bad ones. a cynic might say they hung onto it for a couple of months the tried again though I don't think they did.
  15. Phenoxide
    But that goes straight back to what Space Numpty pointed out and that I totally agree with. Disclaimer or not the head shops know full well that these products are destined for consumption.

    Slapping a 'not for human consumption' sticker and thinking "it's not my problem anymore" is exactly the lazy and unprofessional attitude that I was bemoaning. Stickers do not mean that a person no longer bears a moral responsibility for supplying a misrepresented or otherwise dangerous product, and having not even made the slightest effort to ensure the safety of their products.

    I don't agree that self-regulation would be the end of the RC industry. It's a perfectly affordable practice, just one that is unfortunately not a standard part of the industry model at this time. I actually think the industry cleaning up its act and self-regulating is the only way that it'll have any longevity. The current practices are throwing us into the dark ages by forcing the hand of government to pass stronger and stronger drug legislation. It's only as a result of sloppy industry practice that governments have got involved. Pre-Web Tryp things were a lot different.
  16. salgoud
    If you think that RC vendors have a shred of morality and conscience about what happens to people and you think some politician is going to stick their head out and allow drugs to be sold at "Head Shops" for the public to get high on, then I don't know where your coming from. Maybe you could elaborate. Space Numpty said RC vendors and "Head Shop" owners are scum, and that's what I agree about. They do not care about people or else they would regulate their own industry, which it appears they do not. I had a few run ins with these people, and every time I was ripped off.

    The only reason these drugs have been available over the internet and at head shops in because of the "Not for Human Consumption" sticker. We all know people are not fertilizing their plant with the drugs. There would be no RC vendors, because by putting that label on is the way they circumvent the law. Otherwise, they would not be able to sell the chemicals.

    Then the whole Research Chemical industry would have to fall under the Pharmaceutical Industry because you would be selling drugs not "Plant Food". You do see, this is the way they have been avoiding regulation. Drugs are not sold in "Head Shops", they are sold in "Apothocaries" and "Pharmacies". In the U.S., this would mean the FDA would be stepping in. Testing the products first, then placing them on the market for medical reasons, not to get high! The U.S. has not reached that level of stupidity yet, thank God. This country has not stooped to the level of selling drugs for the sole purpose of getting high. Man, doesn't anyone know where this is all leading. All it has done is led to stronger legislation about the Research Chemical industry and the U.S. will put an end to it. This much you can bet on. 10:1 odds. My favor. I've lived in this country for 56 years, and I know what will happen next. The Government wants to control everything. At least in Colorado we can buy Marijuana legally for medical reasons. And in November 2012, it's on the ballot for legalization of two ounces or less for anyone 21 years of age or older.

  17. SpatialReason
    This makes me sad for everyone involved. I had a bad run in with bath salts once. I finally made the post enlighting the forum viewers here about it. Just look up "Pump-It! Powder" in the search terms box for the related thread where Alfa posted the more than dubious chemical "lab tests." It was a non-conclusive test that apparently showed nothing of a beta-ketone or related material to be present. It leaves so much to question in terms of the ingredients and the test itself.

    From my experience and for the sake of harm reduction: stay the hell away from bath salts and anything that is a free-market shopside "energy powder." If you decide to go against this advice, just make sure to keep your wits and protect yourself through safe dosing. That is all I can ask of anyone in this situation... especially in lieau of a news story such as this and my own personal experience. Death is certainly the outcome if you don't watch yourself. I am very lucky to be alive myself thanks to my good health and ability to cope.

    These chemicals come with no dosages, no list of ingredients, no assurance of purity and material content, and no assurance of anything. You might as well assume that it is industrial diamond dust being put into your body... that is my reminder I make to myself when the products sit in front of me in a glass product shelf... and that is what keeps me from making the same mistake.

    I just send my warm prayers and thoughts to the family and the child. This is certainly a loss for everyone involved.
  18. Mindless
    Another problem with unregulated production and supply is that there is no guarantee of consistency. Packages with the same external appearance may contain different ingredients. A self-regulated industry regarding both production and supply would have many benefits. These might include less risk to customers, bona fide products with known strength and purity, and the possibility that law enforcement agencies would have less reason to intervene.

    I suspect that organised crime is heavily involved in the RC industry. Those producers and vendors that do self-regulate and act responsibly could get together and come up with some recognised standards. If responsible producers and vendors do so, they may even be able to force cartels out of the market. At the very least, prudent users of RCs would have access to safer and better quality products.

    It seems unlikely that governments will do anything to improve this situation. Their usual response is to clamp down and make new products illegal, leaving the market wide open to drug cartels and organised crime. Groups such as the Sinoa cartel are making inroads into Europe, now would be a good time to give them some serious competition.
  19. SpatialReason
    In my opinion, these headshop RCs are not the product of organized black-market criminals and low-life thugs.

    In fact I think they are the product of ignorant entrepreneurship. They are the in-roads to legal narcotic sales, and where there is a quick buck to made, this is obviously the road to take in order to avoid handcuffs as much as possible. These bath salt containers retail for a ridiculous cost that still amazes me; in the end, I was dumb enough to spend a fair chunk of change before I kicked my addiction and learned my lesson. It makes me realize just how rich these guys are getting from this stuff. They are simply turning lead into gold at this point. That is how I see this phenomenon. It is a bandwagon of men and women pursuing a fast way to make money from the nature of societal woe. People avoid getting in trouble as much as possible, and for the time being, this is a shaky path to do so.

    I guess it may be the product of ignorance from someone that knows what/where chemicals can be had and what people like. Trial and error come into play on this. It is not professionals for sure behind this much like the product of synthetic cannabinoid packets. Those products are born from guys with Chinese distributor hookups buying chemicals and spraying them with pumps onto plant material... no science and no controls... just a profit margin.

    So probably some low-life thug criminals have adopted this semi-legal veil as their production scheme. Yet I think it is guys looking to make money with little scruples as to what happens to their end user.
  20. Anna Thema
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