The country was horrified last week by the story of a drug abuser in Miami. The man had ingested a chemical substance that caused him to exhibit bizarre cannibalistic behavior.
He was shot and killed by the police as he attacked another man, chewing the victim’s face. The drug user caused such significant injuries that the victim will remain hospitalized for an undetermined period of time.
The offender had reportedly taken “bath salts,” the latest designer drug plaguing America. This is NOT your grandmother’s bath salt. I don’t know what rock I’ve been sleeping under, but all this is news to me.
“Bath salts” are so named because of their appearance. Bath salts resemble harmless bath product, not a chemical drug and not a soap or cleansing powder of any kind. They’re often referred to as bath salts and are sold over the counter at gas stations and convenience stores around the US though most states are scrambling to make them illegal.
Bath salts are composed of three illegal drug substances: ephedrine, MDPV, and methylene. The chemical combination causes a stimulant effect in the user similar to methamphetamine. It is highly addictive, and the effects are significantly dangerous.
The high from bath salts is extreme. It brings paranoia, delusions, and suicidality. Increased agitation, bizarre behavior such as public nudity, and unusual strength are characteristic. Psychological and physical effects of the stimulant are severe and long-lasting.
The substance can be snorted, ingested, injected or smoked. The Florida case is unfortunately not an aberration. Nationally, poison control centers reported more than 6,100 bath salt related emergencies in 2011, more than 20 times the 303 cases reported in 2010.
All this kind of makes me want to go inside, pull my shades and lock my doors. The world was scary enough already!