Sheriff's Office: One Year After Bath Salt Ban, Meth Use on Rise


AUGUSTA COUNTY -- One year after a ban on synthetic drugs was enacted, police say cases of bath salts in the valley are down. But now, they're seeing other drugs surging back.

"You take away one thing, and someone will add something else," said Keri Jones, coordinator of SAW Coalition, a local organization that works with drug prevention.

Bath salts - often marketed as glass cleaner or ladybug attractant - used to be available in stores.

"2011 into 2012 was our big...year, really...where it picked up and got progressively worse," said Corporal Todd Lloyd of the Augusta County sheriff's office. During that time, Lloyd said, about 20 percent of the calls the sheriff's department would get were bath salt-related.

"The problem that we were having then, when we were seizing all that, it wasn't illegal. We were taking it off the streets but a lot of the chemicals, because they were changing so much - we couldn't charge nobody with it, we couldn't do nothing with it."

But now, they're illegal - and other drugs are becoming more popular again, said Corporal Todd Lloyd of the Augusta County sheriff's office.

Filling the void bath salts left behind: meth.

"I can't answer why it's meth, but meth is our biggest problem here in Augusta County," Lloyd said.

The synthetic drug ban may be doing what it is designed to do, but, according to Keri Jones, there is still work to do.

"Bath salts or synthetic drugs and meth are both very deadly," she said. "Meth could be even more deadly because a lot of people are making it at home."

Targeting bath salts helped get them off the streets, and now it is time to do the same for other drugs, Jones said.

"There will always be something, but if we can be ahead of it, then we have a better chance of being successful and saving more kids," she said.


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