"It has torn apart families”, described June Nelson of the drug bath salts. Nelson lives in Antigo-- the city that authorities are dubbing the epicenter of the bath salt epidemic.
She and her family have lived in the Antigo for 10 years and there's never been a problem until two men were arrested for possession of bath salts near her home.
"You never know if there will be a bad deal, a shooting coming through here, and my sons outside playing,” She said.
June, like many other Antigo residents are arming themselves with knowledge on bath salts in hopes to slow its spread.
This drug is so addictive, that someone can get hooked even after one use. That fuels the need to continue to use the drug because each time it gives the user a better high. According to Narconon.org, there are more than 80 chemicals that could be combined to create the drug. This group of drugs is referred to as "cathinones." It is a class of stimulants that creates aggression and hallucinations.
Laurie blanchard, Behavior Health Community liaison has been working with Langlade other counties like Marathon and Lincoln to curb its use. North Central Health Care is researching methods to best treat people who abuse bath salts, but that's been difficult.
Blanchard says the treatment is intensive and most often it requires inpatient treatment. "Because of what little we know of bath salts, we treat the treatment process of bath salts and that addiction just like we would that cocaine meth or heroin"
In early August, Narcotic Investigator Dan Bauknecht and Sheriff Bill Greening held a public meeting to increase awareness in Antigo about bath salts. He says those meetings will become increasingly important as the drug spreads. “When we realized what a devastating drug it is, it was my opinion to get out and let everyone know that it, know how devastating the drug really is."
Bauknecht hopes to have another meeting by the middle of October. That information will be posted on their website.
Click here to view the Langlade County Sheriff's Department website.
For more information about bath salts including effects of the drug and statistics,click here.
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