President Barack Obama passed a bill July 10th, banning the sale of 31 compounds commonly found in bath salts and other synthetic drugs.
Just a few days before Obama signed the bill, KTXS had an exclusive report from Hendrick Medical Center about bath salts overdoses in their emergency room.
ER physicians said Friday they are hopeful the ban will finally get bath salts off the market. But they say they unfortunately have yet to see the effects of the ban.
"President Obama has created a ban now nationally. However, we really aren't seeing any less substantially in the number of cases since then," Doctor Brian Sorensen said.
Sorensen and the rest of the ER staff at the hospital deal with patients who abuse bath salts on a regular basis.
"They've escalated in number over the last few months particularly," Sorensen said.
The abuse of bath salts and other synthetic drugs reached its peak in 2011--prompting efforts to ban the common ingredients.
But it has proven easier said than done since the synthetic nature of the drug makes it easy to alter and disguise.
"It can be a troublesome drug and can cause a variety of symptoms," Sorensen said. "You can get a fast heart beat, blood pressure, temperature, hallucinations, agitation and seizures to the point where medications alone can't do the trick," he continued.
Not only is the drug harmful for the patient, it also poses a threat for the safety of ER staff.
"They can be fairly combative. We unfortunately see enough of them that we're becoming more familiar--too familiar--with how to treat (them)," he said.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has partnered with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to initiate a nationwide crackdown on bath salts and other synthetic drugs. It is the first of its kind.
As of Thursday, they reported they had seized 167,000 packets of bath salts and 19 million total packets of synthetic drugs.