Bath salts and potpourri may sound harmless, but when you take a closer look, products marketed as those household items can be dangerous. After several cases of serious side effects from using certain bath salts to get high, the State of Louisiana banned the materials in those products. However, the director of the LA Poison Center, Mark Ryan, says in the drug business there's always something new. In this case, potpourri.
"It's a never ending battle to try to keep up with what's being put out there," said Ryan.
In a letter, a concerned mother tells KSLA News 12 her son is addicted and, "his health is really bad due to this stuff and his mental abilities don't seem to exist anymore."
She says he purchased it over the counter from a convenience store in Blanchard. Other parents say the easy access is scary.
"It's shocking. I had no idea that kids can just go to the convenience store and just pick these things up. I just never would have thought," said mother, Bridget Turner.
Ryan says the materials in the potpourri may not be the same as those found in the bath salts, but it doesn't mean they aren't dangerous.
"People have no idea what they're getting in the packages, and they certainly don't know the dose that they're taking. It's caused hallucinations, extreme anxiety," he said.
While the LA Poison Center and state officials work to keep dangerous products off the streets, they depend on citizens, especially parents, to help.
"Watch your children. Look for things that are different. This stuff causes changes in eating habits. It causes weight loss. They may look a little different. They may look thinner. They may look a little sickly. Their personality may seem different, agitated, irritable, or combative. Talk to them. If you see something that seems out of the ordinary, it's probably something there," said Ryan.