HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - Abuse of concentrated bath salts, like Blizzard, is on the rise and so are the number people overdosing from the drug.
Bath salts, commonly known as Blizzard or Ivory Wave, are still legal and still available.
Cindy Brown, of Hollidaysburg, said her son nearly lost his life because of the drug.
"He told my son you're one of the lucky ones because most don't walk back out of here."
Cindy Brown's son, 21, nearly died from an overdose of blizzard. When sniffed, snorted, or smoked, concentrated bath salts, like blizzard, give users a meth like high. Only legal.
"When I found out he said, 'Mom, it's not illegal," Brown said. "It's not illegal but it's killing people. People are dying. Hes like, it's all right, its okay. Well he found out the hard way."
Dr. Matthew Bouchard, Emergency Medical Chair at Altoona Regional, said Brown's son is not alone.
"We have seen a very large increase of people coming in with blizzard injections and over doses," Dr. Bouchard said.
More bath salt overdoses, he added, than heroin, cocaine, or any other illegal drug.
"It's a hugely dangerous drug for a couple of reasons. One is because the effects are so far beyond what most drugs are in terms of the level of paranoia and agitation. The things that people will do while on the drug, like stabbing themselves, harming themselves, harming other people.
That, Dr. Bouchard said, combined with the fact that it's legal to buy and use make it perhaps the most dangerous thing he says he's seen in a long time.
"It's difficult to deal with something that you don't have control of or can't control in one shape or another," said Logan Township Police Chief, Ron Heller. "But I know we're dealing with it more and more every night," he added.
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