TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Bath salts, a powder-like substance with similar effects to cocaine, have been illegal in Ohio for nearly two weeks. However, bath salts are appearing in stores again, and they are still considered legal.
Sherry Straub is on a mission to get bath salts out of stores. Her brother, Charles Straub, often used the synthetic drug. She said it killed her brother.
"He figured out the synthetic bath salts was like cocaine, but it makes you crazy. It makes you suicidal," Straub said.
Straub said the bath salts kept her brother up for days. In September, Charles Straub ended his life.
"It's killing adults. It's killing children. I mean, it's just bad news," Straub said.
She said she was shocked to find out stores were carrying bath salts after they were made illegal.
WTOL 11 was there as Straub confronted an employee at one of the carry outs selling bath salts.
The employee chose not to speak on camera, but pointed out they were not the only store selling the substance. In addition, he produced papers stating the bath salts the store was selling do not have any of the ingredients outlawed and are perfectly legal.
"There's so many loopholes that they can change just one ingredient in it, and it becomes something else and it becomes legal to put on shelf," Straub said.
Drug prevention specialists said they are not surprised to see a legal substitute in stores so quickly.
"It was pretty likely that they were going to find a way to get around whatever legislation there was. So they took out specific drugs that have been banned, and they have found other stimulants, other drugs to put inside of the bath salt," said Alexis Blavos, a drug prevention specialist.
Blavos said the new, legal products are just as dangerous, which is why Straub said she will not quit until bath salts are completely gone. She said she does not want anyone else to suffer the same fate as her brother.
"He's not here anymore. He was not in his right mind, or he never would have done it. Never."
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