KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Crazy attacks blamed on bath salt now closer to home after a hammer wielding man stormed a church.
It's a problem drug rehab facilities are seeing more often in East Tennessee.
Bath salts are a growing problem in the our area. Bradford Health Services Administrator Lawrence Salsbury says, "What we're seeing is the younger clients, the 15 year-olds who haven't done cocaine or heroine but they're doing bath salts."
Bath salts not those you'd find in grocery stores. This kind is cooked up a lab and sell them legally on the internet. With hallucinogenic effects, bath salts mimic LSD and ecstasy. Here's the problem. Three to 5 milligrams give a bad trip, but dealers sell them in 500 milligram bags. Salsbury says, "So you've got kids taking 50 milligrams and it's completely taking control of them. They're going in the hospital and emergency rooms."
Or worse, in jail or dead. Police arrested this man Sunday in Hawkins County saying stormed a church high on bath salts waving around a hammer. February two people tripping out on bath salts lead police on a chase which ended in a shootout killing Michael Baker and Shana Richardson. Salsbury says, "Some of these stories you see in the news like the biting off the ear, they're saying it's doing things to them they never thought they'd do."
Governor Haslam signed a bill earlier this year making sales in stores illegal in Tennessee raising the jail time and fine for resale.
Heather Sutton of the Metropolitan Drug Commission says, "Some of the proactive laws have helped decrease synthetic drugs in East Tennessee."
Even with the precautions, Salsbury thinks it should be illegal on the internet.