Effectiveness Of WV Bath Salts Ban

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We may not have heard about them for awhile, but bath salts are still a big problem in Parkersburg.

"There's not anything more dangerous, I don't think, than a person on bath salts," Parkersburg Police Sgt. Greg Collins says.

The synthetic drug causing hallucinations, crime, and even death is back in the valley.

"Bath salts have basically been driven underground. They're sold in Parkersburg and the valley just like coke, crack, heroin, and other drugs."

"We had four people we suspect had overdosed on bath salts or ingested contaminated bath salts. It turned out to be a pretty major medical scene. All were taken to the hospital by ambulance."

Overdose treatment, but no arrests.

"There was nothing, when we got on scene that we saw that criminal charges could be applied to."

A law passed last year was supposed to ban the sale of bath salts in the mountain state, but it's effectiveness has yet to be proven.

In order to make arrests, evidence must be found and then tested, and the makers of the drug are getting smart.

"The chemists who produce these bath salts are continuously tweaking and changing the compounds in these bath salts. Every time that changes, the lab has to catch up with it, do the proper tests and paperwork to have it officially declared as illegal."

Illegal or not, police say it's still a dangerous drug no matter how it's made.

"We know as officers when it's a bath salt situation. We have to be very careful and we've taught our guys and they've done a good job at identifying people that are on bath salts."

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says they continue to see cases of bath salts use as well. He says though, heroin and prescription pill overdoses are still the biggest problem in that area.

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