In Ascension Parish, law enforcement officials say the new laws placed on the ban of synthetic drugs has helped crack down on the sale and usage of synthetic drugs in the area.
Synthetic drugs have emerged in the United States within the past three years as a "party drug" handed out at European dance clubs.
The most recent synthetic drug to hit the streets are referred to as "bath salts."
The drug is compiled of legal chemicals that mimic effects of cocaine and other illegal stimulants.
Local law enforcement officials stated that about two years ago, synthetic drugs could be purchased at independent convenient stores or gas stations.
In Louisiana, the most common bath salts sold are called Bayou or Hurricane Charlie.
In 2011, House Bill 12 banned the sale, manufacture, or possession of "bath salts," and synthetic marijuana, also known as "mojo." In 2010 Louisiana banned four popular chemicals used to make fake pot. Five substances were banned nationwide that year.
However, according to local enforcement officials, although the ban was placed, drug manufacturers formulated synthetic ingredients that provided marijuana like effects that were not banned.
"The drugs are powerful, and have been linked to violent and peculiar behavior," said officials.
Officials also mentioned that even though it has the name "bath salts," it has no relation to skin products or fragrances.
According to US laws, the sale or possession of all substances that mimic illegal drugs is prohibited, but local officials pointed out, "only if federal prosecutors can prove that they are "intended" for human consumption."
Law enforcement officials said that drug manufacturers print on every label "not for human consumption" on every packet to get around the law.
Bath salts and other synthetic drugs are quiclky emerging on a daily basis because drug manufactuers are finding new ingredients to get around the law.
Officials are concerned with the new emerging drugs because the substances contained in the drugs are considered legal substances and there is no true way of testing for usage of synthetic drugs.
Local officials are monitoring the usage and manufacturing of synthetic drugs in the area, but have stated they will continue to enforce the current law to help keep these dangerous drugs off the street.