IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- The war on drugs has become more of a battle as new synthetic drugs like "bath salts" and "spice" gain popularity.
"Up until Jan. 1, you could buy bath salts in a liquor store. So, it was accessible," said Lt. Marco Garmo with the Imperial Beach Sheriff's substation.
Bath salts are a synthetic drug that has been compared to cocaine and methamphetamine, but it's effects are far more intense. Spice is a man-made form of marijuana, and it's usually laced with a chemical that offers intense hallucinations.
"You're anxious and paranoid," said Garmo.
Recently, a Texas man was accused of biting and eating a dog while under the influence of spice. In Los Angeles County, a man is being charged with hitting an elderly woman over the head while high on bath salts.
"Our Encinitas station has had several incidents where they've had to use force to get someone into custody," said Lt. Garmo. "Later to find out they were under the influence of bath salts."
Garmo says several people, including a 16 year old, have overdosed and die as a result of the drug.
"It's dangerous," he added.
It's now illegal to sell bath salts in California, but it's not illegal to possess or buy them. They are not yet listed as controlled substances.