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Portland, Lewiston police concerned about growing bath salts use

6:12 PM, Sep 27, 2011   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The fight against the street drug bath salts has mainly been centered in the Bangor area because that's the place with the most cases. But police in both Lewiston and Portland say bath salts are becoming a growing problem in their areas. And they are very concerned. Lewiston's police chief, Mike Bussiere, says in many ways, bath salts are worse than any drug he's seen in a long time.

Police in both Lewiston and Portland started having run-ins with people on bath salts about 6 months ago.  While usage of the drug isn't terribly high in those areas, Portland is seeing an increase. And what concerns the chiefs of both departments is that the trips users go on are very disturbing.
Users frequently run around without their clothes on, scratch their skin until it bleeds, or assault people they care about because of the wild hallucinations the drug causes.
And, police say unlike other drug users, people on bath salts can't even hold a basic conversation when they're high, and that makes it very difficult for officers to investigate.
"When you're talking to somebody like that and they sit there and you ask a simple question like that and they respond with a random set of numbers, I mean, you know you've got a problem. There's a wiring issue that's going on with their brain that you just don't see with other drugs," Bussiere said.

Both the chiefs in Portland and Lewiston say they're glad the legislature and federal government are tackling this issue now.

NEWS CENTER

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