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UC Hosting Bath Salts Forum This Week

Kristine Bellino, WIBX

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Bath salts have recently been making headlines in Central New York, with many people not knowing what they are or what they do.

To address the problem, Utica College is hosting a public forum Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 in the Carbone Auditorium of the Economic Crime, Justice Studies and Cybersecurity building, to discuss bath salts with local legislators and law enforcement officials.

William Virkler, executive director of UC’s economic crime and justice studies program, says bath salts, like other synthetic drugs, are hard to legislate against.

“How do you stop this,” Virkler said. “It’s not a plant. It’s not cocaine or marijuana, that you can say is illegal. It’s hard to identify it. A synthetic drug is made chemically, and whatever you make today is going to be different tomorrow with different ingredients. So, that’s part of the challenge.”

Doctor Jeanna Maraffa, with the Upstate New York Poison Control Center, will deliver the keynote speech. She will talk about the drug’s composition and what warning signs to look for in someone who may be using bath salts.

A panel discussion will also be held to answer the public’s questions. Panelists include state senator Joe Griffo, County Executive Anthony Picente and Oneida County District Attorney, Scott McNamara.

The event is free to attend, but space is limited.

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