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June 30, 2011

Police: Maine driver was shaking, admitted use of 'bath salts'

By Beth Staples
Portland Press Herald

CLINTON, Maine — A Fairfield man who was charged recently with driving under the influence of drugs reportedly told police after he was pulled over that he had consumed bath salts.

Clinton Police Chief Craig Johnson said Mitchell Morse, 51, was shaking when he admitted to consuming bath salts Friday morning after getting out of his vehicle.

Bath salts is the nickname for a synthetic stimulant that is legal in Maine. The relatively new designer drug is sometimes mixed with other substances and reportedly causes agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

Johnson said he stopped Morse after receiving a report of a motorist driving erratically at 11:12 a.m. Friday.

''A gentleman stepped out of the car and I got out of the cruiser and approached him and he was shaking all over,'' said Johnson. ''The man explained he wasn't feeling good and I called for rescue.''

Johnson said after Clinton Rescue personnel examined Morse at the scene, he was transported to the Waterville Police Department. Johnson said Morse was summonsed for operating under the influence of drugs and possession of a usable amount of marijuana.

There have been other recent reports of the use of bath salts in the area.

In separate incidents, two men who reportedly used the drug ended up in the intensive care unit at MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer Campus.

The muscles of one patient in his 20s were so damaged that he suffered kidney failure, according to Dr. Guy Nuki, chief of operations for the Thayer emergency department.

The young man could not speak or write, but he could text-message on his phone, said Nuki.

Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said another young man who had taken bath salts broke into the alternative education school on Silver Street.

''He didn't know what he was doing or where he was,'' said Massey.

When police arrived June 1 at the school, Massey said Zachary Morin, 20, was in the auditorium, lethargic and saying someone was chasing him with a gun.

Massey said Morin was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and unlawful possession of drugs. Massey said police found hydrochloride pills on him.

Copyright 2011 MaineToday Media, Inc.

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