Synthetic drug called gravel on the rise in the Tri-Cities -

Synthetic drug called gravel on the rise in the Tri-Cities

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According to authorities in the Tri-Cities, synthetic drug use is on the rise and of all the synthetic drugs one is more dangerous than the others. It's called Alpha PVP or gravel and it's one of the newest synthetic drugs to hit the streets. The drug is named gravel for it's white rock like appearance.

When law makers began passing legislation to combat bath salts, dealers turned to a different synthetic drug that's even more dangerous than it's predecessors.

"Our vice and narcotics have been overwhelmed with cases in fact that's what they have been devoting about 99 percent of their time to investigate," said Sullivan County Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart.

Earhart said so far Sullivan County and surround areas saw nine fatal overdoses resulting from gravel.

Washington County Tennessee only saw a few cases of gravel this year.  But Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal says it's just a matter of time.

"I wish it wasn't here but it's not going to go away soon. And it's got, I think it'll be more prevalent in our area as time goes on so we're working. We've got some cases working on it now. That seeing, if we can do something with it maybe to keep out of the hands of children," said Graybeal.

Dr. Garik Misenar said the side effect of paranoia from gravel is what makes this drug different from other synthetic drugs like bath salts. 

"with that paranoia they tend to have a very large fear of police officers, security officers. SO when a police officer tries to detain someone it can take several people to get them under control," said Misenar.

Misenar said when dealers make the drug they put whatever's available in it.

"It's frequently mixed with other substances depending on who's mixing it could be mixed with Anything from ammonia, household cleaners, rat poison, you have absolutely no idea what it is that you're getting," explained Misenar.

Right now the drug's street value is $200 a gram.

Since January, the Sullivan County Sheriff's office made 30 arrests in connection with gravel. Authorities said while they hope to see those numbers go down, they will continue to combat the drug and work with other counties on a solution.

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