BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Just days ago, federal officials made their stand against bath salts, raiding businesses and making arrests. On Saturday, community members in Batavia continued their stand against the synthetic drugs.
There are many people in Batavia who want to "beat bath salts." But when some community members started organizing a fundraiser and awareness campaign, they learned there's a lot of work to be done.
Event organizer Eric Betz said, "Since I've organized this, I've had 20 people stop at the place and tell me I'm a jerk for doing it. For ruining their good time. I don't care. I don't care if I'm ruining their good time. I don't want it around. I don't care if I'm ruining their good time. I want to raise my family in this town. I don't want to have to deal with people like that."
Those who gathered Saturday want to educate people on the synthetic drugs known as bath salts and let them know the real effects.
Emergency room nurse Dorothy Deroque said, "I think because it started out being legal, they thought it was okay. And they don't understand the long-term ramifications of it."
They're selling raffle tickets and charging people to literally beat bath salts by destroying a donated junker van. The junker allows them to take out their frustrations about the problems the synthetic drugs have caused the Batavia community. The money raised will go to the emergency room, which is greatly affected by bath salts users.
"Over the weekend we get it at least once a day. We get one case a day. Usually teenagers," Deroque said.
Event organizer Richard Clark added, "Apparently, they told me, they have to hire security now at the emergency room because of it."
The organizers say since the big bath salts busts made days ago, they've already seen an improvement. But the don't expect the bust to cure the problem. It's only a start.
"Just because you shut them down doesn't mean they aren't going to be out there again in some shape or form. That's the way it is with other drugs. But everyone knows about other drugs. They don't know about this drug. And they need to know about it. It's very important," Clark said.
During their bath salts raids nationwide, the feds made 90 arrests. Three of those took place in western New York.
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