"It's a cheap drug," said Northfield Police Sgt. Chuck Satterfield.
Part of Satterfield's job is to surf the web looking for the latest drug trends.
"Drugs are a huge problem in the state of Vermont from marijuana all the way up through," he said.
Now a new designer drug has caught his eye.
"You can buy a gram for 50 bucks," he said.
They're called bath salts and their ingredients are completely legal in Vermont. The white, powdery substance looks similar to what you dump in the tub.
"They are not being sold as bath salts. They are being sold to give you a high," said Dr. Mark Depman of Central Vermont Medical Center.
Abusers are sniffing, snorting, smoking and injecting the chemical compound. Police say this methamphetamine-mimicking drug is dangerous.
"It gives you a high similar to cocaine, so that euphoria feels good but as soon as it wears off the paranoia and suicidal thoughts that follow are just extremely dangerous," Satterfield said.
Satterfield says he's happy he knew about the synthetic stimulant before his standoff with a man at a Northfield Falls trailer park. Daniel Cubitt, 32, high on bath salts and other prescription meds, armed himself with a sword and a hunting knife. He threatened to kill police and himself before Satterfield talked him down.
"This is the first episode I've heard of in Vermont," Satterfield said. "I'd rather not meet someone on the bath salts again."
"People get compulsions to hurt others," Depman said.
Depman runs the ER at CVMC. He says the hospital's seen two cases this month.
"They can cause someone to become almost acutely psychotic. They become agitated, really violent," Depman said. "Very high heart rates, very high temperatures. People get temperatures of 104, 105, 106 and what this can do is actually cause muscle breakdown in your body."
The stimulant is manufactured overseas and there's no regulation over its chemical makeup here in the U.S. Right now there is no federal or Vermont state law making the drug illegal. But just last week the governor of New York signed legislation banning bath salts and he has the support of other New York lawmakers.
"They are the same thing as harmful illegal drugs and the kids should stay away from them. I've moved that they be banned," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.
Police hope lawmakers in Vermont will hop on the banning bandwagon.
"Because it's legal we can't just be reactive instead of proactive. We're going to have to respond to situations like this and unfortunately it puts a lot of people in jeopardy," Satterfield said.
We called a few smoke shops throughout the state. Some had never heard of the drug and others said they were completely sold out. For now, as long as "not for human consumption" is printed on the label, Vermont stores are free to sell the drug.
Thursday, April 17 2014 7:08 AM EDT2014-04-17 11:08:22 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>