TUPELO – Drug users have turned to a new legal substance to get high, and it’s scaring authorities.
Ivory Wave Salts, often referred to as Salt or Ivory on the streets, have been popping up in Northeast Mississippi for the past few months. Because of its hallucinogenic side effects, sheriffs and narcotics agents are concerned that the seemingly harmless product is going to get someone seriously hurt or killed.
It can be bought in convenience stores and is marketed as a product used in baths.
Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar said the effects of Salt mimic those of crystal meth. That’s what makes it an even bigger problem than the marijuana-like Spice was a few months ago, he said.
On Monday, Prentiss County deputies had two separate encounters with people high on Salt.
“We got a call about a disturbance, and when our deputies got on the scene, there was this guy standing on top of his car in the middle of the street,” said Tolar. “He was saying he saw a lot of little kids with big heads coming towards him. He believed he was really seeing them. The other guy was also seeing people who weren’t there.”
Tolar said both men admitted to using the substance because they knew it wasn’t illegal.
Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson said his deputies have had similar incidents since July.
“We had a guy who fought our deputies because he thought they were the devil,” said Dickinson. “We also responded to a call at a home where a woman said someone was trying to break in so she shot the house up with the shotgun. She and her husband were doing Ivory. This stuff is going to get someone killed.”
Salt users have started smoking it and sometimes even snorting it. It’s a crystal-like substance whose main ingredient, Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mirrors that of meth, according to Capt. Marvis Bostick of the Northeast Mississippi Narcotics Bureau.
Methylenedioxypyrovalerone is a psychoactive drug with stimulant properties.
Bostick said he has seen the same group who use meth – males between the ages of 20 and 40 – as the ones using Salt.
Dickinson agrees. He said Salt use became apparent soon after a law took effect making meth’s main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, available only by prescription.
“It’s like a substitute for meth,” he said. “A legal substitute.”
Dickinson, Tolar and other sheriffs hope the Legislature will ban the Ivory Wave Salts, as it did with Spice.
“Spice is nothing compared to this stuff,” said Dickinson. “We have to do something about it now.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal