"It is killing people, it is an epidemic, it is killing people," says Vinton Police Chief Ben Cook.
Police departments across our area describe synthetic drug use as an epidemic. Roanoke City police say in 30 days, more than 20 cases were reported. Vinton police chief Ben Cook says it is not quite as bad there yet.
"We have had nine cases in two months which is actually a low number compared to other localities"
Vinton may not see as many now, but that is not stopping a major effort to get the drugs off the streets; even working together with surrounding areas in the fight.
"The hospitals are inundated; poison control is inundated with phone calls," says Cook.
Cook says the dangers of the drug are why they are pushing so hard, and even talking to town council about their strategy to prevent the problem from spreading.
"Violent, they are hot, stripping off their clothes, very similar to PCP, most of the experts are saying it is a combination of cocaine and methamphetamine reactions," says Cook.
Starting July 1st new laws go into effect that will make synthetic drugs illegal like synthetic marijuana and localities like Vinton are hoping new laws and education will help- bring down the number of people using the drug.
"Making sure everybody know the dangers, parents know what to look for in their kids and try to get the message out," says Cook.
Together with federal, state, and local law enforcement and the Roanoke county prevention council, Cook hopes everyone realizes while you are able to buy it for now, doesn't mean it is safe