Newswatch 16 has exposed just how widespread the use of the designer drug sold as bath salts has become.
Now more crimes are publicly linked to bath salts.
In Dickson City on February 18, sources tell Newswatch 16, a teenage driver confessed to police he sniffed bath salts a half hour before crashing a car at a Commerce Boulevard shopping center.
In Scranton early Wednesday morning Ryan Foley reportedly told police he was under the influence of bath salts when he attacked a priest.
“This stuff is physically addicting to where you need it just like heroin,” said recovering addict “Kenny.”
Last month he told Newswatch 16 bath salts are so addictive he cannot drive by a store selling them without dropping in to buy some, even though the going rate is about $40 a spoonful.
“I’m scared that I’m going back into addiction,” “Kenny” added.
Wednesday afternoon the Pennsylvania House voted to ban bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
State Representative Jennifer Mann said crimes linked to bath salts should spur the state Senate to put the ban on a fast track.
“The longer this drags out, the more sad stories we will hear of people either suffering medical harm from the use of these products, or committing acts on other people and causing harm to other people so there’s a sense of urgency here,” Representative Mann said in a phone interview.
But can these synthetic drugs be banned fast enough for those in law enforcement now seeing a clearer link between bath salts and crime?
The offices of two area state senators said the Senate is likely to pass a synthetic drug ban in April, and that Governor Corbett will immediately sign it into law.
Until then, bath salts will continue to be sold legally in Pennsylvania.