Several hospitalized after illegal "bath salt" usage
Several people in Cherokee County have been hospitalized, suffering from potentially "life threatening" conditions after using a drug called MDPV, nicknamed "bath salts".
MDPV is a chemical, that if ingested has the effects of drugs like meth or cocaine. It's illegal to have in the state of Iowa.
The drug and chemicals like it, are called "bath salts" because that's how they're often marketed.
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department said this case they believe the drug was smoked or ingested. At this time they can't tell us how old, or how many people are suffering from what they call "very serious medical conditions." We know they're continuing to investigate the case.
Officials at the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center, based in Sioux City, say MDPV is one of the most dangerous drugs out there.
"Oh, I would say they're way up there with some of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. They're being used by people that are looking for a high, looking for that euphoria," said Linda Kalin, director of the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center.
She said MDPV and other "bath salt" type drugs can affect the body in many different ways. Paranoia, agitation, hallucinations, hyper-activity, rapid heart rate, seizures, even cardiac related death are all possible.
According to Kalin, in the last week alone they've had reports of17 people across the state being hospitalized for use of "bath salts" and similar drugs like K2.