One year after New York state outlawed "bath salts," a wave of drug charges related to bath salts in the Syracuse area has been reported. A local drug psychologist recently told the Post-Standard that she has seen a spike in the usage of the illegal synthetic drug over the past six months.
While the Upstate New York Poison Center has seen a surge in cases, so too have Central New York authorities, who recently linked three very high-profile cases to bath salt use. Drug charges for bath salt use, however, can be hard to prosecute.
Bath salts--a synthetic drug readily available online--was first popular in the South and Midwest and only recently became popular in the Northeast. The highly-addictive drug may be snorted or injected and the high can reportedly last between 20 minutes and four hours.
Bath salts are generally considered to be synthetic amphetamines, and they were banned in New York last year by a law that banned the sale and use of methlenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and mephedrone. However, some containers that are called "bath salts" do not actually contain these specific drugs.
Any synthetic drugs that are chemically similar in structure to those banned are also outlawed, but some of today's bath salts reportedly are a completely different structure--one that may or may not be illegal.
The symptoms of all types of bath salts tend to be the same. Users may become agitated or paranoid, have critically high temperatures and blood pressure, and suffer from delusions, schizophrenia, hallucinations and muscle and kidney problems after coming down from the high.
The level of drug charge that bath salt possession brings can vary, depending on the circumstances of the case as well as the defendant's previous record.
A drug crimes defense attorney will usually first see whether the charges can be dropped or reduced. If not, for those who are charged with their first offense, it is usually important for a criminal defense attorney to look into any resolutions involving drug treatment programs and other measures. If it is a subsequent offense, it would be important for a defense attorney to follow a more aggressive strategy.
Source: Syracuse.com, "Dangerous 'bath salts' hit Syracuse area like a tornado, expert says," Douglass Dowty, June 20, 2012