'Bath Salts' Drug Sparks Confusion And Trouble For Legitimate Industry

A string of incidents involving erratic and criminal behavior which some have speculated are related to the use of "bath salts" has sparked some confusion and difficulties for the legitimate bath salts industry, Headline News reports.

Those innocent cosmetic salts used for aromatic baths differ greatly from the illegal drug, a synthetic cocaine made of a mixture of amphetamine-like chemicals that can lead to paranoia and hallucinations, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The negative attention garnered by the designer drug has led to a drop in sales and a confused customer base for companies like San Francisco Bath Salt Company and SaltWorks.

"Even our customers see stories saying they're outlawing bath salts and people are calling and asking ‘can they really do that?' And I have to say, 'No, of course not,'" SaltWorks President Naomi Novotny told HLN.

In response to the confusion, one company went so far as to change a product's name from "Tranquility" to "Harmony" after receiving phone calls from people requesting "Tranquility," which is an alternate street name for the drug.

And the confusion isn't just causing problems for businesses. While legislators are keen to crack down on "bath salts," the drug is concocted by "street chemists" using common chemicals, making it difficult to determine which chemicals to ban, ABC News reports.

According to WebMD, there is also no way to detect if someone is high on the drug. Nevertheless, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, says the number of calls to poison centers concerning "bath salts" rose from 304 in 2010 to 6,138 in 2011.