There's a new drug in the area. People - especially parents, teachers and medical professionals - should educate themselves about it.
The drug is referred to as "bath salts," and, according to local law enforcement, it may have been a factor in a local death recently. Authorities say the synthetic drugs may have been used by Kathryn Alling, whose dead, naked body was found off a road in Mayfield last week.
Bath salts also have been linked to a case in Miami recently in which a naked man was found eating the face of a homeless man. After refusing to stop chewing the victim's face, police shot and killed the assailant.
According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, bath salts are synthetic stimulants. They are made with potent chemicals. Although these drugs are called "bath salts," they have nothing to do with the bath salts used in bathing.
The drugs are sold under various names, such as "Purple Wave," "Vanilla Sky" and "White Knight," and are available over the Internet and at some convenience stores and "head shops." The packaging usually includes the warning "not intended for human consumption."
The products often are sold in powder form in small plastic or foil packages. Bath salts can be ingested by sniffing or snorting, or can be taken orally, smoked or put into a solution and injected into veins, the DEA says.
People who use the drugs have reported paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures and panic attacks, the DEA says. The effects are similar to that of amphetamines and cocaine. Bath salts have been linked to some deaths.
Government has taken measures to control synthetic stimulants that are used to make bath salts, but some distributors have circumvented the laws.
Jaime Rulison, projects co-coordinator for the local ASAPP's Promise, said the drugs are popular nationally with people in their mid-20s to mid-30s.
She said her organization, which discourages drug use, plans to reach out to parents, medical professionals and teachers about the dangers of bath salts and similar designer drugs. Her group offers more information about bath salts at
We recommend parents warn their children about these drugs, and we advise local authorities and health-care workers to take notice and consider measures to help protect youths.