Jacqueline Sit, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new drug problem has raised concerns across the nation, and it's being marketed as bath salts.

Oklahoma State Senator Anthony Sykes is pushing to make bath salts illegal in Oklahoma. Experts said the drugs can cause a high similar to PCP.

The drug is being sold in stores across the country. Bath salts are a powder that's either smoked or snorted and is said to pack more punch than cocaine.

"It says on the package not for human consumption, but the sole reason it's produced is for people to use and abuse," said Scott Schaeffer, Oklahoma Poison Control Center director.

The drug gained national attention after dozens of people in Louisiana were hospitalized after abusing it. In many cases, the patients got very violent, aggressive, paranoid and suicidal. Experts said that was because the powder contains a stimulant known as MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone.

"We expect it to start heading north and hit Oklahoma," Schaffer said.

Schaffer said there has been one reported case so far in the state.

"Marketers are actually selling this as bath salts. They know the consumers know it's not bath salts," Schaeffer said.

News 9 found one smoke store that sold the bath salts over the counter for $30. It can also be found online. Schaffer said the drugs aren't just being sold as bath salts, but they're also being marketed as plant food and insect repellant.

"It's not surprising to me to see new drugs of abuse come out on the streets. The legislature does the best it can to outlaw new drugs as they come up," Schaeffer said. "But it seems that every time we're on top of things, another new drug comes down the pike that we have to deal with."

Lawmakers have proposed legislation making bath salts and several related drugs illegal in Oklahoma in hopes of stopping the problem before it becomes widespread in the state.