We knew this summer's bath salt infestation has been bad, but is Utica the nation's biggest bath salt trouble spot?  The Village Voice asks in a recent column, 'are bath salts ruining Utica?"

We've been chronicling the bath salt arrests being made by the UPD and there was another one yesterday concerning a young woman from Remsen who was going crazy on Mary Street.

The Village Voice spoke with UPD Sargent Steve Hauk, and he reports that bath salt incidents were unheard of last year

In 2011, he said, his town saw virtually zero bath salts incidents. Already in 2012, he said, law enforcement officers have seen some 50.

He also explains why it's bath salts that Uticans seem to be using rather than methamphetamine.

"Meth is in rural areas typically, because to produce meth is a very dangerous process," he said. "It's a very strong chemical and if you are exposed to it, it can kill you. And if you livd in New York City, you're not going to make it in the Upper West Side without getting caught, that's why it's mostly a rural type drug."

So how does that explain why bath salts -- said to have similar effects to meth -- are gaining popularity in Utica, whereas meth isn't?

Hauk said that Utica and similarly sized small towns which have seen a bath salts boom are not quite rural enough to allow for extensive meth lab development.


[Village Voice]