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Drug Recognition Experts Bangor Police Department. Bath Salts in the Bangor Area. Bath Salts. What are they? What effects do they have on people? What are they called on the street? Where does it come from? How do they take it? How long will the intoxication last?

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Drug Recognition Experts

Bangor Police Department

Bath Salts in the Bangor Area

bath salts
Bath Salts

What are they?

What effects do they have on people?

What are they called on the street?

Where does it come from?

How do they take it?

How long will the intoxication last?

What are we seeing on the streets of Bangor?


Items marketed as “bath salts” “research chemicals” or “plant food” are actually Synthetic Cathinones

They have no value as marketed

These synthetic cathinones that have hit the streets suddenly

The popularity of these products has surpassed that of many typical “street” stimulants

Bangor seems to have more than it’s share of these substances

chemical compounds
Chemical compounds

MDPV aka 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone

Mephedrone aka 4-methylmethcathinone, 4-MMC

Methylone aka 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone, MDMC

Naphyrone aka napthylpyrovalerone, NGR-1

4-Fluoromethcathinone aka 4-FMC, flepherdone

Methedrone aka 4-methoxymethcathinone, bk-PMMA, PMMC

Butylone aka bk-MBDB, beto-keto-N-Methylbenzodioxolylpropylamin


Khat is typically chewed like tobacco. The fresh leaves, twigs, and shoots of the Khat shrub are chewed, and then retained in the cheek and chewed intermittently to release the active drug. 

Dried plant material can be made into tea or a chewable paste.

Khat can also be smoked and even sprinkled on food.


As of June 8, 2011,

  • 30 states have legislatively banned synthetic cannabinoids (Spice, K-2 and JWH-018)
  • Only 12 states have done so for synthetic cathinones. 

Very similar signs and symptoms as CNS stimulants such as cocaine, MDMA and amphetamines.

Many stimulant users prefer these substances because they are cheaper and the effects last much longer.

street names
Street names

Ivory Wave

Vanilla Sky

Energy 1


Meow Meow

Plant food


Purple Rain

Cloud 9

Monkey Dust

Anything “Monkey”


These substances are NOT currently illegal

Purchased in the head shops and, in some areas, gas/convenience stores

The internet is currently a big source


Mephedrone (4-MMC) 100g $430 500g $1400 1000g $2400 Methylone (bk-MDMA)50g $340 100g $590 500g $1600 1000g $3130 MDAI 100g $800 500g $2500

Bulytone (bk-MBDB)50g $430 100g $800 500g $2325 1000g $3985 MDPV 25g $355 50g $640 100g $1270 500g $4535 

JWH-25010g $350 25g $800JWH-018 25g $350 50g $625 100g $1100 500g $2870 TFMPP 100g $250 500g $750 1000g $1200 

Internet Prices

the problem
The problem

The American Association of Poison Control reported poison centers took 302 calls in 2010 about synthetic cathinones.

As of May 12, 2011 the US poison control centers had received 2,237 calls.

Northern NE Poison Center



Snorting (most common)



Smoking – with a crack pipe

Smoking – soaked cigarette

Smoking – Off foil

onset and duration
Onset and Duration
  • Effects begin 5 – 15 minutes after use
  • “Euphoric” effect can last over three hours
  • Impairment remains long after the euphoria is gone

Increased heart rate


Diminished requirement for sleep

Lack of appetite

Increased alertness and awareness


Fits and delusions


more serious effects
More serious effects
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased BP
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Severe paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Sharp increase in body temps
  • Kidney failure or risk of renal failure
  • Muscle damage
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Potential for self harm
  • Confusion
  • Strong drive to use the substance despite the harmful effects
bangor incidents
Bangor Incidents

The following are examples of some of the encounters the Bangor Police have had with subjects under the influence of synthetic cathinones.



35 years of age


LE assists EMS with a complaint of a “heart attack”

He showed severe anxiety

He said he took “Cloud 9” about 4 hours prior

Self described as extreme paranoia, heart racing with pain and burning all over his body

The officer noted Eugene “folded over” at times and could not be still

Subject was transported to EMMC . He stayed for three days


Follow up interview with Eugene days later–

Superman baggie costs $30.00

The day he went to EMMC he took 12 bags

He said most people snort it

He said it was like cocaine but without the withdrawals

  • He said the cravings are stronger than cocaine
  • When he shoots it up it is closer to a crystal methamphetamine high


31 year old female


Traffic stop with a complete DRE evaluation and noted psychophysical condition.

Urinalysis later confirmed


Buprenorphine (a narcotic analgesic) &

MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovaleron)

the traffic stop
The Traffic stop
  • A store clerk called BPD with a suspected drunk driver at the gas pumps.
    • “Smelled of alcohol”
    • “Having balance problems”
  • Det. Tall arrives as it is leaving the lot and observes enough impaired driving to stop the car.
personal contact
Personal Contact
  • Female driver making “frantic and odd movements in the vehicle”
  • Det. Tall describes it as “Jumping around in the front seat of the vehicle placing her head down by the floor and reaching her arms around her head.”
  • She put her license into her mouth and started to chew and grind her teeth on it. Twice
  • She completely turned around in the drivers seat to face the officer.
personal contact1
Personal Contact
  • After she exited the m/v she continued with the “jerky movements” and “jumping back and forth”
  • She constantly wrapped her arms around her head, leaned to the side to pull her pant legs up
  • Claimed to have ADHD and off her medications. She said her related movements were due to that deficiency.
field sobriety tests
Field Sobriety Tests


Unable to check because she could not watch the stimulus or focus on the finger. She kept looking away

Walk & Turn

Balance during instructions

Stepped off the line

Used arms for balance

One Leg Stand

Used arms for balance and counted 21,22,21.


Suspect made comments about using bath salts.

When asked about drug use she denied it but later admitted to smoking marijuana


Marijuana pipe seized

Aluminum foil pieces – several rolled up

Several foils burned with a hole through them

dre evaluation
DRE Evaluation

Preliminary exam–

“Thirsty” & complained of dehydration

BAC = 0.00% - no alcohol in her system

Denied taking meds/drugs but had a Vicodin two days prior

Constant exaggerated movement

Talkative – vulgar language

Bloodshot eyes

Ptosis (droopy eyelids)

items of note
Items of note


Unable to determine pulse

BP 156/96

Pupil size 3.5-3.5 mm

3.5-4.0 mm

3.0-3.5 mm


120-140/70-90 mmHg

2.5 – 5.0mm

5.0 – 8.5mm

2.0 – 4.5mm


Complained of a “rash”

Emotional swings - crying then laughing

Major muscles were contracting with head/neck contortions

She was unable to sit still for more than 5 seconds at a time

Complained of being hot and overheating

Mild paranoia

my video observations
My Video observations
  • As if her mind is cognizant but muscles not getting the messages – comprehends process
  • Short “waves” of motion then emotion then agitation
  • Agitation increases with involuntary movements
amy 26 years old
Amy26 years old

3 calls to MSP 911 center

First call

  • Open line – no one talking to dispatch
    • Satellite to track to residence
    • She denied calling
    • Cleared with a warning
amy 26 years old1
Amy26 years old

3 calls to MSP 911 center

Second Call

2. Screaming about people trying to get into her apartment

  • Police respond but call is baseless.
  • Warned for misuse of 911 services
amy 26 years old2
Amy26 years old

3 calls to MSP 911 center

Third call

3. Open line but dispatch hears “Please don’t hurt me”

  • Baseless
  • Convinces to go to EMMC for med/psych evaluation
amy 26 years old3
Amy26 years old

Officer’s notes

…Upon arrival we found no one around. Amy was very paranoid and agitated, pacing, looking out the window, very jumpy and irrational. Thinking people want to kill her….

…Amy’s boyfriend states that she ingested bath salts earlier

amy 26 years old4
Amy26 years old

…Amy was very sweaty, wet clammy skin, sweat dripping off her face. Checked her pulse and noted an extremely rapid heart rate. Complained of being very thirsty

…Taken to EMMC for eval of psych issue or rule out overdose

nick 28 years old
Nick28 years old

Voluntarily in the station because he wanted to work for MDEA against a residence.

He displayed typical signs of cathinone user

I interviewed for training purpose only

He was addicted to methamphetamines then cocaine but his drug of choice is opiates.

He has track marks on both arms and admits to being a “junky”.


Between rants and deliriums he told me the following:

There are current 3 types of bath salts in the Bangor area. He described one as white, one as brown and the third he could only tell me was short lived. He said the cutting agents determined the color of the final product.

He injects his drugs but most will smoke it with a crack pipe. It leaves a crusty residue in the pipe.

He said some called it something like “Skatle”


The quality of the product determines the quality of the high – just like cocaine

He said the bath salts give him energy but do not make him paranoid

He believes he can and currently was functioning fine while using the bath salts. – WRONG!!

Right now there is a lot of cocaine available on the street because the salts are the preferred stimulant.

jerimy male 33
JerimyMale 33

Neighbors called for yelling and breaking glass

Officers find Jerimy at ground floor bathroom window, paranoid and yelling.

Jerimy had broken the toilet and sink and smashed the window “to get help”

Mild cuts – taken to EMMC for evaluation

follow up interview at emmc
Follow up interview at EMMC

Paranoid hallucinations – of MDEA listening

Confused rambling – convinced his earlier hallucinations about people trying to kill him were real and that we are confused

Restless and agitated

Mood swings morose to agitated

follow up interview at emmc1
Follow up interview at EMMC

Pulse rate 111-126 BPM by heart monitor

Pupils 4.5 – 5.0 mm in room light

Complained of pain with Novocain injections

Thirsty with dry mouth

Admitted to taking bath salts “last night”.


Currently the State of Maine is not planning to make the synthetic cathinones illegal. They are relying on the federal government to so.

The federal government is investigating and collecting data but has not passed a law or an emergency measure.

Synthetic cathinones will remain available

your call
Your call

“A person acting strange”

Neighbor hears yelling from an apartment

911 hang ups

Your response?


What is going on behind that door?

Bring back up - Officer safety


To the drug user the hallucinations ARE REAL!!!

Their paranoia can be directed at you, intentionally or mistakenly

Their agitation will build if you contradict them

These are NOT automatic blue papers


These people are paranoid and may be hallucinating, often about people trying to harm them

They may exhibit classic “fight or flight” posturing. Stay alert

They will converse and understand and reason with you – have patience.


Avoid confrontation

Talk in a calm voice & identify yourself

Avoid arguing/debating about the delusions

If they are sure of something – agree

Minimize the stress - If they are paranoid, looking out the window then move them to another room where they feel safe

Your actions my increase stresses.


They’re typically alert, responsive & listening

Offer to get them to a “safe” place

If the hospital sounds like a safe place to them then bring them

If you have actual, specific PC for a blue paper – consider that option. He/she may not agree.

Find a responsible babysitter if possible

If they are committing a crime – consider arrest

Emotions may cycle. If they’re agitated then wait a few seconds and ask a different line of questions.