'Bath Salts' Drug Hits Edmonton Streets

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In this Jan. 26, 2011, photo containers of bath salts, a synthetic cocaine, sit on a counter at Hemp's Above in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Synthetic substances that mimic marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs are making users across the nation seriously ill, causing seizures and hallucinations so intense that thousands of them seek help at emergency rooms. At the request of The Associated Press, the American Association of Poison Control Centers analyzed nationwide figures on calls related to synth | AP

Edmonton police say bath salts, a street drug that’s been sweeping through the United States, has been popping up in the city.

"It's just starting to make its foothold into here. We've seen a little bit,” said Det. Guy Pilon.

Bath salts is a nickname for the synthetic drug which, according to Pilon, is a stimulant similar to cocaine or methamphetamine.

While illegal in the United States, the drug isn’t listed as a controlled substance in Canada and can be legally brought into the country.

Even so, Pilon says it’s a dangerous substance.

“Don't use this drug. It's very addicting," he said. “Users say as soon as they stop using, they want to snort again.”

Pilon says he’s talked with nurses who have seen overdoses of the drug in city emergency rooms.

Alberta's Medical Examiner tells CBC News that so far they know of no deaths in this province linked to bath salts.

The drug made headlines recently after being linked to a case in Miami where a man attacked and ate parts of a homeless man before being shot by police. But authorities there are unsure what, if any, role the drug played.

Authorities in Nova Scotia have also said the drug has appeared in their province.

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