Ohio Looks To Strengthens Laws Against Bath Salts

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Ohio's war on bath salts is about to escalate as a new law will target the maker and user of synthetic drugs.

“It's the thing that the use of bath salts causes right away that's the big concern,” said Paul Coleman, president and CEO of Maryhaven, a facility that deals with drug and alcohol addictions.

Coleman said that bath salts can turn a normal person to someone who is combative and out of control.

“It can cause paranoia. It can cause long term medical complications, liver disease and those types of things ,” said Coleman.

Up to now, chemists had been tweaking the chemical compound to make it slightly different and legal.

The new law will make the base compounds illegal, regardless of chemical modifications, and will expand the ability of law enforcement to make arrests.

Last month in Columbus, three people were arrested by federal officials for having 9,000 packages of bath salts with the intent to sell them.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said the new law will help him put synthetic drug traffickers in jail.

“It's killing people.  It's causing horrible reactions.  And they're making a lot of money on it,” said DeWine.

DeWine said when the law is signed, he'll immediately put more agents and special prosecutors to work to pursue violators.

For Coleman, it's a question of helping those who have become addicted.

“No one here at Maryhaven or anyone in the treatment providing community can tell you anything good about bath salts,” he added.

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