Police, treatment professionals see "resurgence" of meth, bath salts

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Police, treatment professionals, and medical officials say they've seen an uptick in the usage of methamphetamine and bath salts.

At the same time, they've seen a slight decrease in the popularity of heroin.

"In the last five months, the percentage has gone up probably 80 percent that they're using methamphetamine versus heroin," said Cathy Love, referring to the clients she's seen at Bob Mays Recovery Center in Clarksburg.

Through her work as program director at the center, Love has gleaned that people are turning to methamphetamine and bath salts due to cost.

"Right now [methamphetamine] is coming from out of the country," said Love. "And they're glutting the market with that versus heroin, and they're making it very cheap."

Methamphetamine and bath salts are both highly addictive stimulant drugs, can be made with household items, and can render the same effects on a user.

"People are having to take this in such a high concentration to get a euphoric feeling that they honestly become very paranoid, aggressive, often aggressive towards other people," Dr. Brittanie West, a resident with UHC Family Medicine, explained. "And they're doing this because they want more of the drug."

And that can translate into violent and criminal behavior. The Harrison County Sheriff's Office confirmed that as of late, deputies have received more calls regarding crimes that are linked to the use of methamphetamine and bath salts.

Bath salts fall under the family of designer, recreational drugs and often come in packaging with the misleading warning "non for human consumption."

Dr. West says the drug is especially dangerous, because it cannot be detected by a drug screen.

She explains more in the video above.