A Schuylkill County judge granted an emergency injunction banning the sale of bath salts in the county.

Judge Jacqueline L. Russell issued the order Wednesday afternoon in response to a lawsuit filed by District Attorney James P. Goodman seeking a permanent ban on the sale of bath salts.

Goodman said in the suit the sale of bath salts threatens the public health, safety, welfare and is a danger to all communities in the county.

Russell has scheduled a hearing for 11 a.m. on Friday on whether to continue to ban or expand it.

Goodman said in the suit, "The stimulant chemical compounds used to make these dangerous substances have no legitimate use other than to provide a high for users."

Goodman said the state legislature is addressing the problem but said delays in the pending legislation "necessitates that immediate action be taken by the district attorney to protect the citizens of Schuylkill County."

Goodman noted the state House passed a bill banning the use and the state Senate passed a similar one. However, since both bills differ they were sent to the House Judiciary Committee which must work out the differences before the bill can be presented for final passage and sent to the governor for his signature. He said after the governor signs the bill it will not become effective for 60 days.

Goodman said that will not protect the citizens of the county during the upcoming summer.

Goodman asked county businesses to voluntarily stop the sale of the bath salts. He said an investigation revealed four businesses are still selling them.

He identified the businesses as Nirvana's Closet in the Schuylkill Mall; Dragon Chasers Emporium in the Fairlane Village Mall; Empire Fuel Stop in Pine Grove; and Gasway on SR61 in New Castle Township.

Goodman said bath salts contain three chemical stimulants: methylone, mephedrone and/or methylenedioxypvalerone. He said people are ingesting these drugs like they would cocaine or methamphetamine.

Goodman said the bath salts are being ingested and causing residents in the county to suffer from hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures and have resulted in increased crime in the county.

He said the bath salts have put police officers in danger, has strained the resources of county hospital emergency rooms and poses an "unreasonable danger" to the citizens.

Goodman said he is also seeking the help of the public in identifying any business that is currently selling bath salts. If anyone has information pertaining to the sale of bath salts or has any information to report on how bath salts has harmed residents of their community to call the county's drug tip line at (800) 414-1406.