The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning to the public about a rash of incidents involving people using “bath salts” as a new drug to get high.

Sheriff Donna Dennison issued a statement May 5 noting that police agencies in the area have been receiving numerous complaints about people acting irrational and displaying erratic and bizarre behavior. The latest occurred May 4 when a young man on a motorcycle stopped on Route 17 and took a stick and began waving it at passing vehicles.

Several people have been arrested for their actions while under the influence of this substance, she noted.

“We’ve had some recent concerning activity which is of great concern to us and the community as a whole,” Dennison said.

She said four unrelated people have had to be hospitalized in the past week from their use of bath salts. The salts are commonly packaged in a 1-inch-by-1-inch plastic zip-locked bag. The substance is brown or white and resembles cocaine or heroin, the sheriff noted. She said if the tag is on it, the tag will state “RAVE ON.”

The people hallucinate, become paranoid and often do not recall what has occurred over a four-hour period. The people then often become ill after the effects wear off.

The sheriff said a local businessman who was selling glass pipes and bongs legally was also selling the bath salts, which are also legal. Detective Reginald Walker of the sheriff’s office and Rockland Police Detective Chris Young visited the owner May 5. He agreed to stop selling the bath salts after being explained the ramifications of what has happened. He also turned over his supply so to not have any on hand, the sheriff reported.