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Not Your Granny's Bath Salts

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Drug users across the country are going crazy — literally — over bath salts, and Vermont druggies could soon join the trend.

No, today's stoners aren't desperately seeking a high from Calgon: "Bath salts" is the street name for mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, a powdery substance said to have effects similar to cocaine or methamphetamines, only more so.

Bath salts, which can be smoked, snorted or injected, produce a high lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours. The drug, still legal in Vermont, also produces some nasty side effects, including suicidal depression, manic behavior, delusions and violence.

It can be difficult to bring a bath salts user back from the brink, said Karen Simone, director of the Northern New England Poison Center. There's no simple, specific antidote available to hospital emergency room personnel. Medical workers "have to administer high doses of sedatives and sometimes anti-psychotics as well," Simone explained. In cases where bath salts experiments have gone totally amok, "you may have to put people into a light coma," she added.

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