The Battle Over Bath Salts Continues 6/27/12
CBS 7 Reporter
June 27, 2012
Midland, TX - A bizarre shooting in Odessa Tuesday night is raising questions.
According to police, 23 year old James Creech walked up to a house and shot 58-year-old Steven Little without motive...once in the head and once in the chest.
Little remains at Medical Center Hospital in stable condition. Police arrested Creech after a short foot chase in which he bit a police officer. Officers say he tried to kick out the windshield of a police car on the way to the jail.
Officers say Creech may have been under the influence of drugs and they are running a toxicology test.
So far the shooter's motive is unknown and until toxicology reports come in, we will not know if drugs were involved.
But bizarre and brutal attacks have been captivating headlines across the country because of a growing epidemic: bath salts.
Bath salts have been compared to cocaine, meth, even ecstasy. The lab-brewed drug can lead to violent, irrational, self-destructive side effects including terrifying hallucinations, a rapid heart rate and extreme paranoia.
"When we run across someone who has taken bath salts and they're having an adverse reaction they go from 0-100 in a matter of seconds their strength is beyond that of a human," explains Captain Chris Kincheloe with the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office.
It can be snorted, smoked, injected... even mixed with body lotion and absorbed into the skin.
The synthetic drug may be under the name "white ivory" "dragonfly" or even "Dr. Feel Good." Most of them carry the label "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION."
"You look at the packet and there's a disclaimer there and they're thinking ‘this is cool I'm not going to get in trouble’," explains Kincheloe.
DEA officials believe the substance is manufactured in China and imported into the U.S. The drug is then sold inside adult bookstores, head shops and can even be bought in bulk over the Internet.
But this battle against bath salts is no easy fight. Even though the drug is illegal in Texas, sellers have found a loophole.
"They are altering the formulations," says Kincheloe.
At least 20 chemicals commonly found in Bath Salts have been deemed as a synthetic component under the Texas Controlled Substance Act but manufacturers are getting creative with their product, changing up the chemicals to create the same compound.
Since the ingredients for bath salts are regularly changing chemists are constantly busy picking apart the recipe, finding more chemicals to add to the list.
So knowing all of the terrifying side effects, why would anyone even try bath salts? Well, law enforcement officials attribute it's popularity to a cheap, easily accessible high that does not show up on a drug test.