Governor Rauner signs the Bath Salts Prohibition Act By Gabriella Rusk Published: July 18, 2016, 6:40 pm
TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (KWQC) – The Bath Salts Prohibition Act makes it illegal to sell or offer for sale any bath salts in a retail establishment in Illinois.
The bill was co-sponsored by Representative Avery Bourne and Senator Andy Manar. Christian County sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp and other law enforcement officials approached Bourne and Manar to express their concerns over the growing problem bath salts present to the community.
Governor Rauner explained before this bill retailers could sell the substance under the guise of assorted household items such as phone screen cleaner, jewelry cleaner, and plant food.
“This law that we’re signing today, helps law enforcement get after the broad category of these cathinones,” he says. “[It] gets after the false misleading labeling that can go on these compounds and retailers.”
Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group Director Jamie Rieck says this law lets retailers know they could be held accountable.
“The law will continue to help fight some of the methods that they’re using to circumvent how these retailers are putting that out on the counter,” Rieck further explains.
“Bath salts can cause a multitude of things. it can cause paranoia, it can cause hallucinations. it will lower your inhibitions. it can cause panic attacks, it can increase your heart-rate and your blood pressure,” says Rieck.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp argues bath salts is one of the most highly addictive substances he has come into contact with. According to Kettlekamp, addicts can experience up to a week long high.
“It’s destroying families, it’s destroying lives,” says Kettlekamp. “And it needs to stop.”
QC MEG adds that while bath salts are not a prevalent problem in the Quad Cities, every local rehab center is equipped to treat this addiction. The sale of bath salts officially becomes illegal on January 1st.
TV-6 Investigates: Butane Hash Oil Labs
DAVENPORT, Iowa. (KWQC) – Exploding homes, raging fires, and toxic waste. We’ve known about those hazards of meth labs for years. But now TV-6 Investigates a new drug danger creeping into the Quad Cities.
A fire broke out at a home on Concord street in late December. Eight people were inside, including four children. One person was taken to the hospital. It turns out the fire was caused by a Butane Hash Oil lab in the home.
Those labs can cause fires and they can even blow homes off their foundations. Law enforcement agencies fear we’ll see more explosions and fires as this drug keeps coming into the area.
Butane is a readily available fuel used in lighters. But it’s also popular with people making hash oil. QC Metropolitan Enforcement Group Director Jamie Rieck said, “Butane strips the THC out of the Cannabis, they concentrate the Cannabis in a tube or a pipe, and the Butane will sift through that and strip the THC from the plant material.”
Rieck says once someone has stripped the THC out of the plant, they need to get rid of the Butane. That’s where the explosion hazard really kicks in.
“It’s heavier than air, so it’ll come out of that dish, come around the dish, and contact that ignition source,” said Rieck. Whether it’s a hot plate, stove, or even a refrigerator motor, give it the right concentration of Butane and the vapors can explode.
Dozens of Butane Hash Oil labs have exploded out West. California and Colorado have both seen steady increases. Rieck said, “We’re going to see more of it as time goes by. As western states decriminalize Marijuana they experience an increase in bho labs.”
The Quad Cities first Butane Hash Oil lab fire occurred in December. Drug agents discovered another lab at another Davenport home in August. They were serving a search warrant and found Butane cans and hash oil in the kitchen. The Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy Associate Director Dale Woolery said, “If somebody is using Butane, to make anything and they have large quantities, and you have a live flame or a spark, that can be a flammable if not explosive situation.”
Woolery said so far, Iowa has seen very few Butane Hash Oil labs. The drug comes here already made. “Most of it is being shipped here, it’s being brought into the state, it’s being manufactured out West, and brought here,” said Woolery.
He said the drug control policy office educates law enforcement, landlords, and retailers. “It’s a growing issue, but it’s still a small issue,” said Woolery. But he worries about Marijuana getting diverted from states where it’s legal, to states where it is not. States like Iowa and Illinois.
“We do see what I call leakage, Marijuana creep if you will from those states where it’s being produced and it’s showing up in Iowa,” said Woolery.
Illinois has a medical marijuana pilot program. Minnesota also has a medical marijuana program. Drug officer Jamie Rieck says his officers are watching. But with YouTube and the desire to get high faster, it may only be a matter of time before we see more houses exploding from Butane Hash Oil labs.
“There are individuals that are very cautious and we’ll see very elaborate setups, so they know what they’re doing actually, and then you’ll see the guy who thought he could figure this out himself and you usually encounter him in the hospital,” said Rieck.
Just how common are these labs? 441 have been discovered in California. 30 in San Diego County alone. Colorado saw the number of lab explosions grow from 12 in 2013 to 32 in 2014. Oregon has recorded 17 dating back to 2012.
National influx of heroin hitting Quad-Cities
Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2015 5:18 pm
By Rachel Warmke,
First of a two-part series taking a look at heroin use in the Quad-Cities.
Brown. Smack. Horse. H. Black. Tar.
Heroin has many names, depending on who you ask. For drug enforcement agents, it's the drug that kills. For addicts, it's freedom from pain and the outside world.
In the past couple years, the drug has been linked to the overdose deaths of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, and 'Glee' star Cory Monteith, 31, who join a long list of celebrity users who have died of overdoses.
Local police say they've seen an influx of heroin over the last few years, part of a nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse and a cheaper, more accessible form of heroin.
“It's a systemic problem. Drugs touch almost every other associated crime,” said Kevin Winslow, director of the Quad-City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, a drug prevention unit. “It's a wildfire; it's not a war. Everyone says it's a war. It's not. When you say a war, it has an end.”
If you leave a wildfire unattended, “it will consume your entire community. And that's what we're trying to stop,” Mr. Winslow said.
Law enforcement officials said it's impossible to know how much heroin is in the Quad-Cities area. They report small increases in the number of criminal cases filed and overdose deaths attributable to heroin in the last two years.
In Rock Island County, there were five fatal heroin overdoses in 2013 and nine in 2014 as of mid-December, Coroner Brian Gustafson said.
Rock Island County State's Attorney John McGehee said that from January through November of 2014, his office filed 12 cases for heroin possession, eight more than in 2013. Prosecutors also filed 16 cases for delivery/intent to deliver heroin last year, up from 10 cases in 2013.
Neither Mr. McGehee or Mr. Gustafson had numbers for prior years.
One of the two most common types of heroin used locally is a brown, powdery substance that comes from South America and is popular in the mid-Atlantic states east of the Mississippi River, Mr. Winslow said.
The second type, known as "black tar," is an injectable type from Mexico and common in the stretch between California and Mississippi, he said.
"Most of what we're seeing is heroin you can snort, and that's what makes the South American type so popular," Mr. Winslow said.
Five to 10 years ago, local police found only a small number of heroin users were injecting, because of the low purity levels of available heroin, he said.
"A lot of people who grew up in the '80s, with the hepatitis and AIDS scare, I think that was a big deterrent for (injecting) the black tar heroin," Mr. Winslow said.
However, in the last two years, Mexican drug cartels have begun trafficking more heroin to the United States, especially in major cities such as Chicago, Mr. Winslow said, adding that heroin used today has a substantially higher purity level than a decade ago.
Although he couldn't provide an estimated price for heroin five to 10 years ago, Mr. Winslow said heroin now is substantially cheaper locally, about $10 to $30 for one-tenth of a gram (a high that lasts as long as four to six hours).
The image of the strung-out drug user made popular by mainstream television and movies doesn't paint the full picture. Police say businessmen, grandparents and students of all races and ages are among users.
Mary Engholm, executive director of the Rock Island County Council on Addictions (RICCA), said her client list includes grandparents and veterans, some who became addicted to heroin while trying to find a way to ease physical or psychological pain.
She remembers when the center saw just one to three heroin users a year. Now, she estimates that one-third of the center's 50 to 75 residential treatment clients are battling opium or heroin addictions.
Ms. Engholm believes the real crisis was in the 1980s, when several local mental health facilities closed, leaving many low-income people without access to treatment programs for mental health and addiction.
“Back in the day, I used to get a straight alcoholic," she said. "More often than not now, people are addicted to multiple substances and also have underlying mental health issues or physical issues. Just access to that is very difficult.”
Ms. Engholm said some users initially got hooked on opiate-based painkillers, such as Vicodin, and graduated to heroin when the source of the painkillers ran out.
"You can be a functioning heroin addict as long as you have it in your system," Mr. Winslow said. "If you don't have the funds to support it, that's when crime can start to happen."
Bath Salts Bath salts is the informal "street name" for a family of designer drugs often containing substituted cathinones, which have effects similar to amphetamine and cocaine. Their white crystals often resemble legal bathing products like epsom salts, but are chemically disparate from actual bath salts. Bath salts' packaging often states "not for human consumption" in an attempt to avoid the prohibition of drugs. Other "street names" for this drug are Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky, and Bliss. Bath salts can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected. Users of bath salts have reported experiencing symptoms including headache, heart palpitations, nausea, and cold fingers. Hallucinations, paranoia, and panic attacks have also been reported, and news media have reported associations with violent behavior, heart attack, kidney failure, liver failure, suicide, an increased tolerance for pain, dehydration, and breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. Visual symptoms similar to those of stimulant overdoses include dilated pupils, involuntary muscle movement, rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure.