News / USA

Synthetic Drug Problematic for US Authorities - Part 2 of 2

Synthetic Drug Problematic for US Authorities - Part 2 of 2i
|| 0:00:00
X
Carolyn Presutti
June 26, 2012 6:53 PM
Police in the United States are stymied by a new synthetic drug, and its numerous variations, that is legal in many states. Police say so-called bath salts allegedly got their start in Europe as a club drug and were made in Asia. VOA's Carolyn Presutti examines the dilemma facing law enforcement with no detection test and no federal law on this drug that causes violent, unpredictable actions.

There is no detection test and no federal law on bath salts, a drug that causes violent, unpredictable actions.

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Virginia - Police in the United States are stymied by a new synthetic drug, and its numerous variations, that is legal in many states.  Police say so-called bath salts allegedly got their start in Europe as a club drug and were made in Asia.  A dilemma faces law enforcement.  There is no detection test and no federal law on this drug that causes violent, unpredictable actions.

Augusta County, Virginia, is a rural county in the Blue Ridge Mountains, two and a half hours southwest of Washington.  It has a big problem.   

Sheriff Randy Fisher says Augusta County was once known as the methamphetamine capital.

"Basically that's all our drug guys were doing were meth cases.  Then meth cases started dropping off and all we're doing now are bath salt cases," said Fisher.

Those meth users turned to bath salts because they are cheaper and some versions are still legal.  All these legal versions of bath salts masquerade as common household products.  Now Fisher's department handles about one bath salt incident every day.

Storeowner Tina Phillips says her store doesn't carry bath salts, but about three addicts a day ask for them.

"They were almost out of their mind.  Like crazy.  Eyes great big.  Scary," said Phillips.

Authorities say the county's bath salts are manufactured in Southeast Asia or China, and distributed through New York City.

"I wish they could realize what it's doing over here, the problem it's causing to people," said Deputy Sheriff Trevor Ross.

Because of its chemical makeup, bath salts can have many derivative compounds, eluding detection.  

"With meth or cocaine, we got test kits available, and when we see it, we can test right there in the street and say, it's illegal," said Narcotics officer Todd Lloyd.  "And, we can do something about it.  But this?  What are we going to do?"

These officers say they need a federal law against all bath salts, and their derivatives.  Without a law or official test, deputies say the same users keep turning up on the same streets eluding any effort to arrest them or to get them treatment.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid