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Use of Bath Salts Continues to Increase in Gwinnett

Gwinnett police are stepping up efforts to find the suppliers of this dangerous drug and increasing its training to deal with suspects, many of whom exhibit superhuman strength.

Reports of people allegedly under the influence of bath salts continue to make headlines.  

Most recently, Gwinnett County Police were called to the scene of a and ate his own feces.  

That story came just days after news broke out about , was tasered fourteen times when police found him running rampant around a Norcross-area driving range. He threatened to start eating people, in addition to showing superhuman strength.  

He told police that he believes the marijuana he smoked was laced with bath salts, according to Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith. The suspect is having blood work done to find out exactly what was in his system that led to his episode.  

"We seem to be encountering more persons who are using bath salts, and this is concerning," he said. "These subjects frequently don’t respond to dialogue or verbal commands, and don’t seem to feel much pain. This makes tools like pepper spray and the taser less effective." 

Two officers from the Gwinnett Vice and Intelligence Units currently serve undercover to find where the drugs are being sold. Increased training will take place on bath salts and what to look for in suspects.

Bath salts are a synthetic drug that were once sold in gas stations, but were placed under an emergency ban last month. It is a stimulant powder containing amphetamine-like chemicals.  

According to Smith, bath salts are powders or crystals that can be drunk, snorted or injected. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a press release that users have reported "impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia and violent episodes."

Smith added that the ingredient in bath salts that causes such immunity to pain is unknown.

But, DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told ABC News that the drug increases the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain in two dangerous ways: by "pouring more dopamine in as methamphetamine does, and at the same time, like cocaine, trapping both of these chemicals in the brain, so the user doesn't come down."

This is the change that can lead to the violent behavior and paranoid state exhibited through bath salt use.

Do you think the use of bath salts is just a fad, or will it linger and become more heavily used? What do you think the police can do in order to decrease its usage? Talk about it in the comments.

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