1. WAR ON DRUGS

    'Bath Salt' Drug Raises Alarm

    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 synthetic drugs. The findings showed an alarming increase in the number of people seeking medical attention.  (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Chris Knight) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Chris Knight, The Patriot-News / AP Photo

    A relatively new type of stimulant drug is causing alarm, and people who take them sometimes turn violent and psychotic. The stimulants, "bath salts," are sold legally in many states and can be purchased in some convenience stores because of a label that says "not for human consumption.” They come in powder or crystal form like traditional bath salts, but people take them as recreational drugs, snorting, injecting, or smoking them. The drug, which has turned up in the past year, has already been banned in at least 28 states, mostly in the South and the Midwest.

    Read it at The New York Times