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A new laboratory test to detect bath salts in biological samples is being developed at Sam Houston State University.

Developing a Lab Test for Bath Salts

Sam Houston State University received a federal grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to create a test for bath salts for toxicological samples in crime labs.

Bath salts, also known as synthetic cathinones, are a new breed of designer drugs that were legally sold in convenience stores, head shops and on the Internet until being included on the list of illegal substances through an emergency order by the Drug Enforcement Administration in October 2011. These drugs, that are capable of producing powerful hallucinogenic and adrenergic effects, are routinely seized in drug cases around the Houston metropolitan area and throughout the nation.

“Bath salts are the new breed of designer amphetamines, and they pose a number of challenges for law enforcement agencies from a public safety and public health standpoint,” said Dr. Kerrigan.

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