Cookeville area health and safety officials continue to encourage you to take a few minutes to educate yourself about the dangers of so-called "plant food" and "bath salts," -- substances making headlines because they cause severe, life-threatening symptoms when taken as drugs. Dr. Sullivan Smith with the Emergency Department at Cookeville Regional Medical Center says a recent uptick in overdose cases is what caused him concern.
"I think part of it is the marketing," Smith said. "It's being sold across the counter, like Tylenol or energy drinks, but I think that the thing we have to make clear is that it's not plant food or bath salts, it's a drug. It's dope."
Smith and officials with the Cookeville police department and other law enforcement agencies have been trying to educate the public for several weeks now about the dangers of such substances, which -- while dangerous -- are not yet illegal in Tennessee.