Bath Salts Becoming Synthetic Drug Of Choice - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Bath Salts Becoming Synthetic Drug Of Choice

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When synthetic drugs first hit the market, K2 was the most popular brand out there. It's effects mimic the THC found in Marijuana. But local law enforcement says there's another synthetic drug becoming more popular -- bath salts.

"It's something new, it's a new trend, it's hitting us right now," said Rene Sandoval, Director of the Multi County Narcotics Enforcement Group out of Peoria.

When you hear someone talking about bath salts, you may want to listen a little closer. The type of bath salts Sandoval is talking about, you don't want in your tub.

"They're using the bath salt name which, a lot of people are thinking, the Epsom salts that you end up buying at Bed, Bath and Beyond. But that's not the case at all," Sandoval said. "It's totally different. It's a clever marketing tactic to make it sound like a household product."

Just like K2, bath salts are a trendy but dangerous street drug. The only difference between K2 and bath salts are the effects they simulate.

"The K2 mimics the THC is marijuana," Sandoval said, "and the bath salts mimic the effect of methamphetamine and cocaine."

The synthetic compounds used to make bath salts are predominantly coming out of China. People are buying them right off the Internet. The bath salts may arrive in a finished product or a raw, powder-like form.

It's typically sold on the black market.

"If somebody is selling this, a store is selling it, it's probably going to be under the counter or in the back someplace." And Sandoval says you may not know what you're seeing is illegal, so keep your eyes open --

"We have multiple different colors, different packaging, you're going to find them in different names. However, everything inside is the exact same thing."