Bath salts: What makes them dangerous? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Bath salts: What makes them dangerous?

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Bath salts continue to make headlines as users continue to display the outrageous behavior.

In Miami, Florida, a man who was reportedly on the drugs took bites out of another man's face before he was shot and killed by police.

A similar situation happened last week in South Louisiana.

We asked Louisiana Poison Control Director, Dr. Mark Ryan what is in the drug that causes such bizarre and violent behavior. "It affects the neurotransmitters in your brain, not unusual, many drugs do that. And they do it in a beneficial effect. It's needed. These happen to do it in ways that are extreme," says Dr. Ryan.

When the drug first hit the streets of Louisiana in 2010 the state's poison control reported an alarming number of calls from panicked users complaining of extreme anxiety, hallucinations and accelerated heart rate.

Bath salts were banned by Louisiana lawmakers less than a year later.

"The problem in Louisiana seems to have decreased pretty significantly. And the decrease started immediately after the ban was signed by governor Jindal in January 2011," says Dr. Ryan.

The problem is far from over. Bath salts take on different forms, and different names. So physicians and lawmakers are constantly researching to stay ahead of the game.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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