LAS VEGAS - They're sold under names like "Cloud Nine", "Blue Silk" and "White Rush Invigorating Bath Salt". These aren't, however, normal bath salts that people use to relax in a bathtub. They are synthetic stimulants that can kill you. Now, people are using the products to get high.
"Basically, what we're looking at is some kind of super cocaine or super methamphetamine, or just the same as that, but it's legal," said University Medical Center Chairman of Medicine Dr. Dale Carrison.
Abuse of the legal product is surging around the nation, and Dr. Carrison's physicians are on alert.
"You can go into the head shop. You can go into the gas station and buy some bath salts, and now you've got your cocaine," he said. "The other part is the cost. Apparently, this stuff is a lot less expensive than the illicit drugs that you would usually buy."
The bath salts cost about $30. Users will ingest them, and their hearts race. The stimulants can cause hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts. Many experts say bath salts produce more damaging effects than meth.
Parent Steve Murdzia believes these bath salts should be banned from store shelves. "I have a 12-year-old, and I have a 7-year-old," he said. "If it's killing people, hurting people, bad for people, you've got to save the people from themselves sometimes."
The designer drugs are made from complex chemicals that some states are now trying to ban. While they are still legal in Nevada, Dr. Carrison warns against using them to get high.
"Don't do it. It's not worth it. What's the experiment? If you're a person that feels like you have to take drugs, why take something that's totally and completely unpredictable," he asked.
Other product names for these bath salts include "Ivory Wave", "Vanilla Sky", "Purple Wave" and "Ocean Burst". Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi are working to ban the products. Other states are expected to follow suit.