Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia says abuse of bath salts has quickly become a crisis of “close to epidemic proportions,” reports the Maine city’s Daily News. “We haven't seen anything of this epidemic proportion advance this rapidly,” Gastia told the city council at a special workshop about the problem. The abuse of bath salts first turned up in the city last spring. Police now see several cases a day.
Bath salts are a synthetic cathinone that produce a brief high lasting 20 minutes to three hours and can induce manic behavior, delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, hyperactivity, nightmares, violence and suicidal depression. Some compare its effects to cocaine. A police supervisor said the typical user is “hyperactive, hallucinogenic, incoherent.”