I'll tell you that since the city of Troy passed this ordinance (to ban bath salts), we went from dealing with people like this two to three times per week to maybe two to three times per month, so it's helped us in this community because it's made it less accessible for people to get it."
News 4 has exclusive video of a man police say is high on bath salts. As we've previously reported, several people have already died from using the synthetic drug, but now, police are sounding a new concern for your safety -- even if you don't use it.
A lot of people assume bath salts are safe because you can get it -- legally -- at many gas stations. Several local cities and counties have banned the substance, but police say it's hardly slowed the interest in the drug and that it can have deadly consequences -- not only for the user, but for anyone who comes in contact with someone high on bath salts.
Police in Troy, Missouri, a city which has banned the synthetic substance, relayed some harrowing stories about users who became delusional -- even shooting at imaginary people and threatening to take more than their own lives.
A grown man cowers beneath an emergency room gurney. Police say he's hallucinating because he's high on bath salts bought at a nearby gas station.
"He's scared to death. He thinks there are people in this room that are going to kill him," Maj. Ray Floyd explains of the man in the video.
You can hear Maj. Floyd say in the video "Who are you hiding from? There's nobody in the room."
Before Michael got here, police say he ran over his girlfriend with his car. It happened in Troy two weeks ago. News 4 agreed to blur the suspect's face so we don't jeopardize the trial, but police say it's a perfect example of how dangerous bath salt users are to themselves and to people around them.
Take another recent case about a guy imagining people hiding in his walls:
"So he was shooting -- actually shooting a firearm into the walls, trying to kill these people," Maj. Floyd says. "So it's a potentially dangerous situation not just for law enforcement, but for anybody that might be in the area when these people get paranoid and think there are people out to harm them."
Bath salts are shot up, smoked or snorted and often land the user in the E.R.
"We've had to get security for staff safety because patients are so combative," Dr. Kathleen Maurer, Lincoln County Medical Center, says. "Oftentimes we have to place these patients in psychiatric facilities because they're psychotic and often suicidal."
Some users report bath salts to be stronger than meth or cocaine. Troy police argue that if those drugs are illegal, the salts clearly should be too -- for everyone's safety.
"What's to keep these people from harming someone else?" Maj. Floyd says. "