As much as officials agree a danger lurks in bath salts and synthetic marijuana, they do not believe those types of "legal highs" are widely used in this region.
While synthetic marijuana has been around for a while, bath salts are relatively new on the scene. Both can be easily obtained locally.
"I know it's here, but I haven't seen it a lot," said city police officer Ken Mains.
Mains believes it is critical that parents are aware of the products.
"Parents need to know what to look for in case their kids are doing it," he said.
The chemicals used in the designer drugs are so new they don't typically get spotted in common drug tests, according to Edward Krenzelok, director of Pittsburgh Poison Control Center overseeing 44 counties, including Lycoming.
"The standard drug tests are developed to pick up specific substances," he said.
While heroin, cocaine and marijuana historically have been detectable in standard drug tests, Krenzelok said the typical test probably won't detect bath salts, salvia or synthetic marijuana.
Someone would have to definitively know a person was intoxicated on one of those newer drugs to perform a select chemical test to detect it, he said. So unless a person says they've taken a particular substance, there's no way to know if they've taken designer drugs.
Delia Probst, a Susquehanna Health emergency room nursing supervisor, said she is not aware of any patients seeking treatment there after using the substances.
"We get all different kinds of people who have overdoses of all kinds of things, but not any of that," she said. "For some of these substances, we don't know what they've taken unless someone tells us exactly."
Bath salts appeared on the public radar only in the past five months.
U.S. poison control centers began to receive reports this past September of patients ill from the effects of what then was a series of previously unreported drugs of abuse collectively known as "bath salts," according to Dr. Richard J. Geller of the California Poison Control Center.
"These agents have nothing to do with bathing, and, like the synthetic cannabinoids marketed as 'spice,' are marketed as something other than what they really are," Geller said in a news release distributed to media around the country earlier this month.
Jessica Wehrman, communications manager for the American Association of Poison Control Centers, said her agency recorded 297 known bath salt exposures in 2010.
She said there's been 539 instances of bath salt poisoning across the country so far this year.
Geller said this is "a grave danger to public health."
Krenzelok said the drugs so far have been more of a problem elsewhere in the country.
He said bath salts are rampantly abused in southern states such as Louisiana. Synthetic marijuana is widely misused in the Chicago and St. Louis areas, according to Krenzelok.
Comparatively speaking, Krenzelok said the drugs aren't as much a problem in Pennsylvania.
That's not to mean they're nonexistent.
Krenzelok said his office has handled five known instances of bath salt poisonings, mostly in the southwestern counties, and dozens of synthetic marijuana cases, most of them this past fall when students were going back to school.
The salvia trend was longer ago and not as popular, according to Krenzelok.
"We've not really got a lot of calls for salvia. It's been rare," he said.
Mains said more established drugs is what he and officers on the county's drug task force have been seeing.
"It's always crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin and marijuana," he said.
Although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed banning five chemicals found in synthetic marijuana, the proposal has yet to be put into effect.
Meanwhile, state legislators are working on a bill to ban bath salts, salvia divinorum and synthetic marijuana.