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Businesses Warned About Sale Of Illegal Designer Drugs

While the name may sound harmless, bath salts are

KPBS Evening Edition

Dangers of Bath Salt and Spice

Bath salts are a synthetic stimulant and drug users typically snort, inject or smoke it. Its been sold under brand names like Ivory Wave and Bliss.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is sounding the alarm on its danger and illegal sale. "Last year poison control centers saw the number of calls go from 300 to more than 6,000, and the county medical examiner reported the first deaths linked to bath salts last year, Dumanis said.

The designer drug spice has been popular with kids and sailors. It's sold online and at smoke shops and mimics the effects of marijuana.

Both drugs have caused an increase in the number of emergency room visits in San Diego County. "People hallucinate, they get violent, we see people commit suicide and up until now it was legal, but now its not and we're doing something about it, said Richard Clark, MD at UCSD Medical Center.

The DA and County Sheriff are getting support from other agencies after sending out nearly 100 warning letters to businesses in the county who sell the products.

Mark Arabo is president of the Neighborhood Market Association, which represents about 2,000 small grocers and minimarts. "If you see a store or a smoke shop that sells this garbage, let the authorities know and let us know, said Arabo.

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