OC Police Ready For Bath Salts Surge

OCEAN CITY – A national surge of the drug MDPV is hitting the market, but the Ocean City Police Department is ready for its arrival.

“It is a very dangerous drug that is in our society today and we are going to do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t fall into the hands of the young people in our community,” Chief Bernadette DiPino said yesterday.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the U.S. analogue drug laws are laws that are designed to make illegal chemicals that are similar in chemical structure to listed controlled drugs, but which themselves are not yet listed in the laws and regulations.

DiPino said the police department is exploring language to create the town’s own ordinance covering analogue drugs so that the ordinance would cover any chemical drug that hits the streets.

“We will ban any analogue drug in Ocean City,” she said.

DiPino said that the MDPV drug, also known as “bath salts”, have not yet been discovered in any stores in Ocean City but to keep in mind that most stores are still closed for the off season.

“We will deal with it before it even becomes established here,” she said.

Mayor Rick Meehan said that the town will deal with MDPV in the same manner it dealt with Salvia and K2, other drugs that were considered legal and sold in stores.

DiPino added at the very least the department will make sure that businesses are not selling MDPV on the Boardwalk.

According to the Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske, these stimulants are often sold and marketed in stores as "bath salts" under names such as "Ivory Wave" or "Purple Wave."

"I am deeply concerned about the distribution, sale, and use of synthetic stimulants – especially those that are marketed as legal substances.

Although we lack sufficient data to understand exactly how prevalent the use of these stimulants are, we know they pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of young people and anyone who may use them.  At a time when drug use in America is increasing, the marketing and sale of these poisons as ‘bath salts’ is both unacceptable and dangerous. As public health officials work to address this emerging threat, I ask that parents and other adult influencers act immediately to discuss with young people the severe harm that can be caused by the use of both legal and illegal drugs and to prevent drug use before it starts,” Kerlikowske said in a press release in February.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, as of February there were 251 calls related to "bath salts" to poison control centers so far this year. That number already exceeds the 236 calls received for all of 2010.