A mother is speaking out against synthetic drugs after she says her son overdosed on bath salts.
Judy Selvage said her son, Cody, started having problems with drugs as a teenager. “I think when he got into high school, things started changing for him,” she said. "He got involved in some of the wrong activities and doing things."
The 20-year-old had been to rehab and was recovering, according to Judy, until synthetic drugs hit the Tri-Cities. "He was doing well until this bath salts started, then there was no stopping it," she said.
It got so bad, she started calling synthetics 'the Devil’s drug.' "The Devil was in these kids. When they ingested this drug, it was the Devil coming out of them," she told us.
Police in our area said they are seeing an increase in the number of cases involving synthetic drugs. Detectives believe they’re coming in from North Carolina, where the drugs are still legal. "When the kids are on these drugs, they’re just not themselves," she said. "It's just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Judy had to call 911 to her Kingsport home in July when she said Cody seemed intoxicated. According to the 911 call, Judy said, “My son has been drinking or doing drugs. He's in really bad shape."
She said she believed he was under the influence of bath salts. She told dispatchers he began having uncontrollable anger, outbursts and trouble breathing. On the tape, Cody is screaming for air.
According to the police report from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department, EMS tried to transport him to the hospital but he was too violent. "He was erratic. He would cry. He was hallucinating and seeing things. He would start screaming for no reason,” Judy said. "I didn't know if he was going into a coma or if he was going to die."
Cody spent five days in the Intensive Care Unit at Holston Valley Medical Center. He was later arrested on unrelated on violation of probation charges and is being held at the Southwest Regional Jail in Virginia.
Judy commends lawmakers for passing the ban in Tennessee but said these drugs need to be banned nationwide before there are more overdoses and deaths. "If it's available, they're going to get it again and it could be the last time."