Doctor: 'Bath salts' more dangerous than cocaine

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston physician said Friday that legal designer drugs marketed as "bath salts" are more dangerous than cocaine.

Dr. Anc Clarkson said he's seen patients with symptoms in the emergency room at Roper Saint Francis Hospital.

"Hallucination, delusions, self harm, and then a whole host of other issues that can actually have you in the intensive care unit or actually kill you," said Clarkson. "As a general rule, the average user of one of these medications will be much sicker than the average user of say someone who uses cocaine or methamphetamine."

The packages of the synthetic drugs have attractive names such as Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss.

They can be bought at convenience stores, gas stations and smoke shops.

State Representative Wendell Gilliard has pre filed a bill to ban the designer drugs in South Carolina.

"Here we are, leaders in our community, we stand by idly, don't do anything while these young kids are literally just dying from these synthetic drugs," said Gilliard. "Any shape, form of synthetic drugs will not be tolerated and I would hope that my peers in the general assembly will stand behind me."

Some South Carolina cities and towns including Moncks Corner have banned the sale and possession of designer drugs.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plans to impose a temporary nationwide ban next month.

©2011 WCSC. All rights reserved.