HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB)- By now you’ve heard of the brutal attack in Miami where a man suspected to be using a drug “bath salts” chewed the face of another man. But is that a drug that’s made it’s way to Western Massachusetts? Baxter Chandler, a drug councilor at Holyoke Medical Center says synthetic drug use like “bath salts” are not common here, but it’s happening.
“We certainly see it, it’s not like its non -existent, but in our program particularly we see more people struggling with heroin, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana,” said Chandler.
Unlike common street drugs, data is not recorded for the use of this drug by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, but that could change very soon.
“I’ve read a number of articles and reports about the creeping increase of the drug, not only in our area but across the country,” said Chandler.
“Bath Salts” and other hallucinogens were banned last year through the Synthetic Drug Control Act, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find them.
And because it’s not regulated, Baxter says it can be extremely dangerous.
“We don’t know exactly what these chemicals are because they’re coming in often from overseas, there’s no regulation of them so each drug can be very different,” said Baxter.
Chandler says the curiosity in teens is a motive for many of them to try things like this. He says the internet is feeding the problem.
“With the vast exposure to the internet and media, they’re learning a lot more about these new chemicals all these new substances so that’s the real concern i think,” said Chandler.
Chandler says because the drug is still fairly new and and unknown- people have been using the street drugs they ‘re comfortable with. He says that’s probably why the drug has not peaked yet.