One year after stricter laws in the commonwealth kicked in to fight synthetic drug abuse, the substances are on the decline in Southwest and Central Virginia, officers from several different jurisdictions confirmed.
"It's not eradicated," explained Salem police chief Jeff Dudley. "We still see it from time to time and we handle it. But going back sixteen, eighteen months ago, we were seeing [synthetic drugs] on a daily basis. Now we're not seeing it as often."
Police in Roanoke, Roanoke County, Vinton, and Salem launched an extensive media campaign combating synthetic drugs in May of last year.
Several community groups who work with teenagers, as well as hospitals, also joined the coalition.
Every department in the area is now reporting fewer finds of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.