Maine Police, Hospital to Host Conference on Bath Salts

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration & Congress are both working to make the main components of the hallucinogenic stimulant illegal


 
 

NOK-NOI RICKER, Bangor Daily News | | Wednesday, October 5, 2011


BANGOR, Maine -- The Bangor Police Department and The Acadia Hospital will host a daylong conference Wednesday about the synthetic drug bath salts, a dangerous -- and often psychosis-inducing -- street drug that police and medical staff in the region are dealing with daily.

Bath salts first emerged in Maine earlier this year on the streets of Bangor, where it is also called "monkey dust," but its use quickly spread throughout the state, Dr. Anthony T. Ng, medical director of psychiatric emergency services at Acadia, and Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia said in a letter to participants.

"Maine is facing a mounting crisis with the introduction of so-called bath salts earlier this year," the letter states. "Nowhere has that crisis been more prominent than in the Bangor/Penobscotregion."

People need to know the truth about the drug, which was banned in July, Ng has said.

Bath salts make "the brain go crazy," he said last month at the fourth annual Summit on Addiction Recovery, noting that users become psychotic, paranoid, agitated and hallucinatory, making them hard to deal with.

Maine legislators strengthened the bath salts law last week, making possession a misdemeanor and trafficking a felony, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Congress are both working to make the main components of the hallucinogenic stimulant illegal.

The drug is banned in 33 states but is sold legally at convenience stores, head shops and online in the remaining unregulated states.

"The morning portion of the conference will highlight some ongoing concerns about the problems of ... bath salts, including medical, psychiatric, and law enforcement aspects," the letter states. "In the afternoon, we have identified five separate focus groups that will individually identify intervention strategies that will be unique to the respective groups, as well as identifying current problems associated with handling users of these drugs, possible alternatives to current practices, and examining solutions options to current and future problems associated with these and other new drugs."

The conference is scheduled for 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday at Eastern Maine Community College and, in addition to local police and Acadia staff, will feature representatives from the New England Poison Control Center, Eastern Maine Medical Center, the state's Office of Substance Abuse and the Maine Attorney General's Office.

One of several breakout groups will include members of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Maine State Police, the Penobscot County Sheriff's Department and the Penobscot County Jail.

The four other breakout groups are broken down under the categories medical-health, mental health-substance abuse, community-media and children-schools.

"This is a public health concern, as it is not only the individuals affected, but also their families, friends, responders, care givers and the community at large that are affected," the letter from Gastia and Ng states. "Both the adult and children populations are at significant risk from these street drugs."



Related Links:


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, bath salts

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

University of Pittsburgh STAAMP Trial

Trauma experts launch tranexamic acid trial.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New York Ambulance Service Begins Using Power Cot

Service is first in county with new technology.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Traffic Cam Captures Wisconsin Ambulance Crash

Driver of ambulance cited for failing to operate safely.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Hospital Mourns Helicopter Crash Victims

TriState CareFlight pilot and crew killed in crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Moscow Subway MCI

At least 20 dead and 150 injured in subway derailment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Wounded Veteran Resiliency

Marine is one of many in quality of life study.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >