Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Just two days after a Syracuse man, allegedly high on bath salts, held a knife to a five-year-old’s throat
, more than 300 people attended a forum at Onondaga Community College (OCC) to discuss growing problem of synthetic drug abuse.
Experts say the scope of the bath salts problem is bigger than the numbers, but the crowd that showed up to Friday’s forum at OCC is a clear indication of just how many people it’s impacting. The Storer Auditorium was standing room only for the forum.
“Legislation is happening, but not at the rate that these new substances are coming out, so hopefully we can brainstorm how to curb this epidemic,” said Alexander Garrard with the Upstate Poison Control Center. He says it's been a game of cat and mouse with the drug makers who are believed to be in China.
One person asked: “Are the abusers employed and are they a threat to the workplace?” The answer is yes. The epidemic is impacting both the employed and unemployed and people of all ages, from teens as young as 12 to adults in their 70s. And bath salts won’t show up on a drug test.
Clinical psychologist Elizabeth Berry attended the forum. She said, “We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the people who say they’re using this drug. I came to learn more because I want to know as much as I can about this drug.”
If you missed Friday’s forum, Crouse Hospital will be holding a free seminar on bath salts next week.
It’ll be held on July 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Marley Education Center on Irving Avenue. Pre-registration is required. Call 472-2464 to register.