The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 23, 2011

Bath salts appeal to drug users because they don't show in drug tests

— SUNBURY — Bath salts cannot be traced.

And that is appealing to drug users, experts say.

“Drug tests are used to check for specific things,” said Northumberland County deputy chief probation officer Mike Yascenchak. “Bath salts do not show up in any test results.”

The reason, he said, is because in Pennsylvania they still are legal.

“There is nothing to test for them yet,” Yascenchak said. “Until a drug company comes up with something to test for them, we just don’t know.”

Signs are the only way of testing as of now, and he said if someone is on drugs, they can tell.

“Actions, behavior and admissions are ways we know,” Yascenchak said. “Your body can’t hide if you’re on drugs.”

Last week, county District Attorney Tony Rosini said the abuse of bath salts might have caused two recent deaths — those of a Milton man and a former state trooper.

Rosini petitioned Valley state legislators and asked for support of House Bill 567, one of several similar pieces of legislation making the rounds in Harrisburg seeking to ban the sale of bath salts, as well as forms of synthetic marijuana.

Rosini referenced the deaths of Justin Boyles, 31, of Milton, who was found in Coal Township after being missing for several weeks, and suspended state trooper David A. Lynch, 34, of Catawissa, who had gone missing days before he was due in court. He was found dead Feb. 2 in Conyngham Township, Columbia County, just across the South Branch of Roaring Creek from Northumberland County.

No toxicology reports have been released in either man’s death, but evidence suggests bath salts may be involved, Rosini said.

“Autopsies should be able to tell,” Yascenchak said. “But again, as of right now, we just have no way of telling by any tests.”

— E-mail comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.

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