Skip to Content
Find an ARCpoint Lab

DEA Controls Chemicals for Bath Salts

OCT 21WASHINGTON,  D.C. – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today  exercised its emergency scheduling authority to control three synthetic  stimulants (Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and  Methylone) used to make products marketed as “bath salts” and “plant  food”. Except as authorized by law, this action makes possessing and  selling these chemicals, or the products that contain them, illegal in  the United States. This emergency action was necessary to prevent an  imminent threat to the public safety. The temporary scheduling action  will remain in effect for at least one year while the DEA and the United  States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study  whether these chemicals should be permanently controlled.

 

The Final Order was published today in the Federal Register to alert the public to this action. These chemicals will be controlled  for at least 12 months, with the possibility of a six month extension.  They are designated as Schedule I substances, the most restrictive  category under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I status is  reserved for those substances with a high potential for abuse, no  currently accepted use for treatment in the United States and a lack of  accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.

 

Over  the past several months, there has been a growing use of, and interest  in, synthetic stimulants sold under the guise of “bath salts” or “plant  food”. Marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”,  “Vanilla Sky” or “Bliss”, these products are comprised of a class of  chemicals perceived as mimics of cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and/or  methamphetamine. Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor  control, disorientation, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes. The  long-term physical and psychological effects of use are unknown but  potentially severe.

 

These  products have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and  young adults, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head  shops and over the Internet. However, they have not been approved by the  FDA for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight  of the manufacturing process.

 

In the last six months, DEA has received an increasing number of reports from poison control centers,  hospitals and law enforcement regarding products containing one or more  of these chemicals. Thirty-seven states have already taken action to  control or ban these or other synthetic stimulants. The Comprehensive  Crime Control Act of 1984 amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to  allow the DEA Administrator to temporarily schedule an abused, harmful,  non-medical substance in order to avoid an imminent hazard to public  safety while the formal rule-making procedures described in the CSA are  being conducted.

 

“This  action demonstrates our commitment to keeping our streets safe from  these and other new and emerging drugs that have decimated families,  ruined lives, and caused havoc in communities across the country,” said  DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “These chemicals pose a direct  and significant threat, regardless of how they are marketed, and we will  aggressively pursue those who attempt their manufacture and sale.”