Bath salts are gaining in popularity across the country.
But these aren't the relaxing, fragrant salts you pour in bath water
after a long day.
They more resemble cocaine and methamphetamine.
"This is definitely problematic," said Gaylord Lopez, the director of
the Georgia Poison Center. "This is one of those dangerous drugs out
there that aren't detectable in drug tests."
4-Methylmethcathinone is a designer drug marketed as a bath salt,
research chemical or plant fertilizer "not for human
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More Portable Production Adds to Drug's Popularity, Police
In the past three years, Augusta saw a 79 percent increase in the
number of methamphetamine labs found by police.
Georgia saw an 82 percent increase.
"We've been on a surge recently," said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt.
Allan Rollins. "(The labs are) getting much more portable and easier
to carry. It used to be you almost had to have a high school chemistry
laboratory to make, but now you can basically make it out of a
suitcase in a jar."
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Synthetic marijuana is just as illegal as the real thing in Georgia,
15 other states
It's referred to as synthetic marijuana, but the effects can be much
worse than the real thing.
"The lure and the attractiveness of it was that it was legal and
couldn't be tested," said Gaylord Lopez, the director of the Georgia
Poison Control Center.
Respiratory failure, hallucinations, anxiety attacks, rapid heartbeat,
vomiting, seizures, unconsciousness and death can be among the side
Teenagers and adults yearning for a legal high have sought out the
drug known as Spice, K2 and Blaze.
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Richmond County narcotics investigators often see a cycle in
"The standard has been that you arrest them in one location and then
(the others) pack up and move to a different location and bring in new
soldiers," said Lt. Scott Gay of the Crime Suppression Unit.
East Augusta-- including East Boundary, Bethlehem and parts of Olde
Town -- currently tops the Richmond County list as the most
crime-saturated area, Gay said.
Harrisburg, Barton Village and Woodlake, off Windsor Spring Road, fall
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