Cumberland Times-News

October 22, 2012

Bath salts

Efforts in fight against synthetic drugs succeeds

Cumberland Times-News

— It appears as though efforts to curb the use of bath salts and other synthetic drugs in Allegany County are working.

At last week’s Board of Health meeting at the Allegany County Health Department, officials heard an early assessment of how the fight against bath salts is progressing. “It’s a little early, but we’re not seeing the same (degree of) problem,” Becky Meyers, the addictions program director at the health department, said.

That’s good news — especially given the level of bath salt abuse police and healthcare providers were seeing just a couple of months ago.  Over the summer, the Times-News reported eight bath salts incidents in the city since June and an average of one case per day being treated at the emergency department of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, causing alarm for officials throughout the community.

In September, Allegany County banned the sale of synthetic drugs by passing a local law. In early September, police raided shops alleged to have been selling illegal substances. Search-and-seizure warrants were executed at Emerick’s Sub Shop in the city and at Maximum Novelties in Cresaptown, in addition to one private residence at an undisclosed location in Allegany County.

All three locations were purported to be involved in the sale and storage of the illicit substances, Allegany County State’s Attorney Michael Twigg said.

The use of bath salts and other synthetic drugs can have tragic consequences and in some cases can lead to death. We urge police and healthcare agencies to continue in their concerted effort to end sales of these products locally.