BATAVIA, OH (FOX19) - Clermont County Sheriff A.J. "Tim" Rodenberg is calling for a nationwide ban on bath salts.
"It is marketed in little packets or jars, many with psychedelic images," said Sheriff Rodenberg. "Even though this stuff is being sold as bath salts, it is actually a dangerous synthetic recreational drug that can trigger the same effects as cocaine, meth or ecstasy."
An Ohio ban on bath salts is awaiting the signature of Governor Kasich; locally and statewide, law enforcement has raided numerous gas stations and convenience stores where bath salts containing the drug MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) have been sold.
"We have had reports of individuals who have smoked or snorted bath salts, engaging in behavior that can harm themselves and others," said Sheriff Rodenberg. "People who are under the influence of the drug can have suicidal thoughts, hallucinate, become paranoid, or extremely aggressive. There was one young man who went after his family with a machete after snorting it."
"In Clermont County, law enforcement officers have experienced 18 incidents where the use of bath salts was a factor; one case involved a police officer being assaulted," added Clermont Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rick Combs. "Those who have abused bath salts often have a rapid heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Those suspected of taking it, should be taken to a hospital immediately for treatment."
Sheriff Rodenberg said synthetic drugs marketed as bath salts have already been banned in over a dozen states, including Kentucky.
The substance is sold in stores such as gas stations for between $30 and $75.
"We need a federal law against this drug," Rodenberg said.
The website WebMD reports that those who have been marketing this form of bath salts have skirted laws that make these types of things illegal, with packages that say 'not for human consumption.'