BANGOR — Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia hopes newly available test kits will help officers quickly identify synthetic bath salts, a growing problem for police across the state.

Across Maine, police and hospitals have reported a surge of people becoming delusional and violent after injecting, snorting or smoking so-called bath salts.

Gastia said he ordered 150 kits that will be used to test for two of the most common chemicals found in bath salts. He told the Bangor Daily News that the tests will establish probable cause, but that the results still have to be confirmed by a laboratory.

In Bangor, bath salts incidents increased from three reports in May to more than 100 in September. Possession was outlawed in July and trafficking was made a felony in September.