03/02/2012 02:07 EST | Updated 05/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Bath Salts, New Drug, Worries Ottawa Police


A new street drug has Ottawa police on alert and working hard to learn more.

Police say an illegal powder known as bath salts, is a new drug trend that could soon be seen in Ottawa, even though no seizures have been made in the capital.

The powerful hallucinogenic is also known by the name mephedrone and is reported to cause anxiety, delusions and dangerously high blood pressure, as well as occasionally violent behaviour.

Earlier this week, Ontario Provincial Police officers seized the drug in Arnprior, about 50 kilometres west of Ottawa.

Staff Sgt. Mike Laviolette said the drug is not yet under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act because it is new. The drug is being tested and investigated, however.

"It comes in various forms, various colours, it's sold commercially under a myriad of different names," Laviolette said, "It's certainly all chemical, so it's a synthetic drug that's ingested by various means. You can either smoke it or snort it or inject it."

Bath salts popular in England, U.S.

Bath salts are popular in England and the U.S. and are now starting to show up in Canada. The drug is among several new synthetic designer drugs sold online or in small shops as actual bath salts or plant food.

They are packaged as “soothing bath salts” to get around U.S. federal laws and are also marketed as plant fertilizer.

The drugs are marketed under names such as Cloud 9, Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky and White Rush and are sold over the counter in states that haven't banned them.