The Dubois County, In. Sheriff's Office is warning citizens about the presence of a new synthetic drug called “gravel," a combination of meth, bath salts, and crack cocaine that is highly addictive, in the Indiana tri-state area.
According to police, gravel is shipped by normal means and can be disguised as plant fertilizer. They still don’t know how it got into Dubois County.
"We haven't seen it here, locally. That doesn't mean it's not here. It probably is here. We try to keep ahead of that and know what that is. Our main concern is making sure that we have laws in place to enforce it, once we do find it. Because this is a synthetic drug, we have to make sure the legislation is up on changing with the chemical compounds that are illegal, so we can enforce it, once we find it," says Karen Kajmowicz with Evansville Police.
Containing the chemical Alpha PVP, side effects of gravel include hallucinations, violent behavior, paranoia, suicide, and brain damage.
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Authorities in Tennessee also reported seeing the drug last year.
“We’re not seeing the crazy rages (like with bath salts), but the paranoia is the worst we’ve seen from any drugs,” said Kingsport Police Department Vice Detective Nathan Elliott. “And the effects on the body, (the user’s) appearance, those are the worst. We don’t know if they’ll have cancer in five years, or fall over dead.”
When the ER receives a patient suffering from the effects of a drug that they are unfamiliar with, the consequences are all the worse.
“The evolution of these drugs is providing a challenge for toxicology screens,” said Terrence Boos, a chemist in the DEA’s Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section. “When someone is presenting at an emergency department, they are presenting with an unknown drug in their system.”