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Maine is seeing an increase in the number of children placed in foster care due to their parents’ abuse of bath salts, MPBN reports.

Maine has transferred $1 million in unspent funds to the Office of Child and Family Services, to cover costs related to 200 children whose parents are abusing the synthetic drug, according to the radio network. Those costs are expected to increase.

Therese Cahill-Low, who directs the office, told Maine legislators that her staff is seeing parents using bath salts who are severely neglecting their children. “The effect of that substance has been detrimental to families.” She said she is working with the state Office of Substance Abuse to figure out the best way to respond to bath salts abuse.

“The problem with bath salts is that when people are taking bath salts they are incredibly unpredictable, and the long-term effects are unknown,” Cahill-Low said. “And so treatment is really kind of an unknown, I believe, at this point as to how to treat that kind of addiction, and whether or not these people are actually ready to be treated.”

Maine passed legislation last year that bans bath salts. The law makes possession of the synthetic drugs a misdemeanor. Those who sell bath salts face felony charges.

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