When hearing the word "bath salts", we think of a harmless household item which is used to make your bath smell nice. However, since "Miami Zombie" Rudy Eugene's gruesome attack on a homeless man which saw him chewing and eating off a huge portion of his face, the public has now become very familiar with the drug labelled "bath salts".
Bath salts is a street name for a drug containing mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and can be snorted, ingested or injected. It can be obtained in certain bookstores, gas stations, and online under pleasant names such as White China, Lady Bubbles, Vanilla Sky and Ivory Wave.
The effect that this drug has to the human body is described as being highly dangerous, with one physician saying that it is like cocaine times ten. Dr. Heidi-Marie Farinholt, a physician in Canada, told CBC News: "You basically take cocaine and multiply it by a factor of 10 and you have this." She went on to say that bath salts scares her more than any drug ever did.
Taking high dosages can lead to hallucinations, body overheating, and extreme aggression. Bath salt users may also experience losing touch with reality, leading to psychotic behavior.
Just after the horrific cannibalistic attack under a Miami Causeway last week, a man who displayed very similar actions to someone who is high on bath salts was arrested. A homeless man named Brandon DeLeon was arrested by police in Miami after he walked into a restaurant and started yelling at the police. Police tried to calm him but when he refused, they took him into custody, where he reportedly banged his head on the bars of the jail, growled and tried to bite off an officer's hand.
In a safety bulletin released by officers, they stated that DeLeon was high on bath salts. "It was later discovered DeLeon had taken a synthetic drug named Cloud 9. This bears resemblance to the incident that occurred in the City of Miami last week when a male ate another man's face. Please be careful when dealing with our homeless population during your patrols."
DeLeon recalled later that he did not remember the events that had happened when he was arrested.
Another case of a man who once overdosed on bath salts emerged was shown on CNN recently. 27-year-old Freddy Sharp, who has been on drugs since he was 13, described being on bath salts as "the evilest thing imaginable". A video of him being high on the drug shows him acting crazy and delusional. He told CNN that that he was hallucinating about being in a mental hospital and being possessed by Jason Voorhees (serial killer from the Friday the 13th movies). A self-admitting drug addict, Sharp said he had never experienced anything like overdosing on bath salts, saying it scared him so bad. "It felt so evil. It felt like the darkest, evilest thing imaginable."
Many users of the drugs report feeling no pain and feeling paranoid. This leads to hallucinations, aggressiveness and psychotic behavior.
It is not known whether Rudy Eugene was high on bath salts, but his actions displayed the typical behavior of an individual who is high on this potent drug.
Toxicology reports are yet to be released.
The drug, which is banned in America, may now soon become illegal in Canada as well.