Issue Date: October 31, 2011
Agency Prohibits Sale Of Three Chemicals
The Drug Enforcement Administration has banned the sale of three synthetic cathinones that are sold as “bath salts” or “plant food” but that in reality are used as recreational drugs. DEA says it placed a one-year ban on possessing and selling mephedrone, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and methylone to prevent “an imminent threat” to public safety. The agency says the compounds put users at risk for potentially severe physical and psychological harm. The products, available at retail shops and through online outlets, are popular among teens and young adults, according to DEA. The agency says users of these chemicals liken the effects to those from several other illicit drugs, namely cocaine, Ecstasy, or methamphetamine. An agency spokesman tells C&EN that DEA is unaware of any uses of these compounds other than as recreational drugs. During the next year, DEA and the Department of Health & Human Services will study whether permanent federal controls are needed for the compounds. Currently, 37 states control or ban these chemicals.
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