St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Use of a hallucinogenic drug sold legally as bath salt appears to be growing in Missouri.
Just weeks into the new year, the Missouri Poison Control Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center is seeing more and more cases of bath salt abuse.
Officials say they've seen at least one case a day since the year began. They only saw 12 in 2010.
The drug causes a dramatic increase in heart rate and blood pressure when snorted, swallowed or injected. The dangers of taking it are still greatly unknown.
"Some of these compounds stimulate receptors in the brain that cause psychotic symptoms, would that person have developed some kind of psychosis in the future?" said Dr. Anthony Scalzo, Missouri Poison Control Center. "Perhaps, but these compounds are eliciting it more rapidly, inducing it, and they are doing things that they would not have normally done, so there are behavioral as well as physical effects, and we're concerned about both of those."
The bath salts, sometimes sold under the names "Cloud Nine" or "Bliss," have already been outlawed in Louisiana.
If you have any questions about the drug, contact the Missouri Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.