Canastota (WSYR-TV) -- The synthetic drug known as bath salts is a growing problem in Central New York and both law enforcement and doctors are having a hard time keeping up with the dangerous trend.
Canastota Mom Kathy Risley told NewsChannel 9 her adult son has been struggling with a bath salts addiction. As a mother and a nurse, she says she is terrified by the synthetic drug.
“I feel like I’m watching him die every day,” she said. “He gets very agitated. He’s really jumpy. He’ll think people are talking about him. Last night he even called the police to ask them if they were looking for him.”
Risley says her son recently spent a night at St. Joseph’s Hospital after taking bath salts. Doctors urge users to go to the Emergency Room.
“Makes us busy of course, but there is no other safe place for these people. They’re very altered and sometimes they need medications to completely sedate them,” said Dr. Sarmast Farzad.
Risley says after the hospital, he went back to using. Now, they don't know where to turn for help. “Our only hope is if he gets arrested and gets some help,” Risley said.
Since bath salts aren’t illegal to possess in New York State, police have to arrest the person for doing something else. Bath salts can often lead to violent or aggressive behavior which can lead to other charges, like disorderly conduct.
“There are other laws we can use as companion laws to assist in what we are actually going there for,” said Chief James Zophy
Risley is hoping the laws are strengthened to help protect her son and her community.
“He’s so erratic. One minute he might be fine, the next he’s going off. I wish there was more help out there,” Risley said.
Crouse Hospital is holding a free seminar on bath salts and the side effects of synthetic drugs on July 26 at 6:30 p.m. The seminar will be held in the Marley Educations Center on Irving Avenue. Pre-registration is required. Call 472-2464 to register.