Sherman Police might have their first "bath salts" case

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERMAN, TEXAS -- Sherman police say they might have their first case involving the synthetic drug -- bath salts.

Just a few weeks ago at Grayson College, a girl believed to be high on bath salts struggled with college cops, bit one and had to be tased.

The drug is called "bath salts" because it looks like the bath product.

Sherman police say the drug is illegal because the chemicals used to make it are also dangerous.

At 1 a.m. yesterday, Sherman police pulled over Christopher Puckett for not stopping at a stop sign.

They arrested him when they found a switchblade on him, but they also found a glass pipe and baggy full of what they believe could be bath salts.

Now, they want to spread the word about the dangers of the drug.

"The individual that possessed them possessed them on the belief that they were an illegal substance which I'm assuming that he believes them to be bath salts," Sherman Police Sargeant Bruce Dawsey said.

But the term bath salts can be confusing. The bath salts he's talking about is a potentially dangerous drug.

"Along the same lines as methamphetamine in other words, not a naturally occuring substance," Dawsey said.

Because of the chemicals used to make it, the drug is illegal.

"Possession of those chemical compounds are prohibited by law," Dawsey said.

Some are confusing the drug with actual products meant for use in a bath tub.

"Actually that's what I thought when I first heard about it that was the first thing that occurred to me was, 'Is it bath salts you can actually buy in a store?'" Women's Gift Exchange employee Vikki Buskirk said.

Vikki Buskirk sells locally made bath salts. She says she's concerned people will start buying the bath product thinking it's a drug.

"Become desperate and go into the store and buy regular bath salts and try to use them and, what damage might come from that?" Buskirk said.

"If someone actually went to Bath and Body Works and smoked bath salts purchased from there, if it would be any more harmful to them than the illegal bath salts substance?" Dawsey said.

Dawsey and Buskirk say there are minerals in non-drug bath salts that could also be dangerous.

"If they go to the store and they purchase spa-type bath salts and try to smoke it, it's going to make them sick if it doesn't put them in the hospital or kill them. It's the same way with the illegal substance," Dawsey said.

Dawsey says they're waiting for test results to determine whether the crystal substance on Puckett was actually the bath salts drug.

Non-drug bath salts retailers say the salts have a lot of minerals, which could be harmful if ingested.

For more information, visit these sites:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/directors-page/messages-director/2011/02/bath-salts-emerging-dangerous-products

http://www.drugs.com/bath-salts.html

In Sherman, Allison Harris, First News.


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