attacker who gnawed off another man’s face in Miami is suspected to have been
high on a dangerous street drug called “bath salts.” Police say that during the
zombie-like naked rampage that horrified the world, Rudy Eugene, 31, displayed
deranged behavior similar to other horrific crimes linked to bath salts, before
being shot dead by police on Saturday.
which have been called the new LSD, cause people “to go completely insane and
become very violent,” said Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal
Order of Police told
CNN. Also known by street names like “Ivory Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “Bliss,”
“Dynamite” and “Purple Rain,” bath salts made
headlines last year after a torrent of ER visits, thousands of calls to poison
control centers, and a number of deaths, including murders and suicides.
Banned in several states,
bath salts contain amphetamine-like chemicals that have uniquely hazardous
effects on the brain. “If you take the worst attributes of meth, coke, PCP, LSD
and Ecstasy and put them together, that’s what we’re seeing sometimes,” Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison
Center, told The New York Times.
The synthetic, designer drug is deemed an “imminent threat to public
safety” by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). While bath salts
themselves are not yet illegal on the federal level, the DEA issued a one-year
ban on possession and sale of the three main ingredients—mephedrone,
MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone), and methylone—on October 11, 2011.
This toxic cocktail of stimulant chemicals—which can be swallowed,
snorted, or injected—has nothing in common with the harmless bath salts used to
make tub water smell good, such as Epsom salts.
Instead, “bath salts” is a name used to market the drug in tobacco and
drug paraphernalia shops, with labels reading, “not for human consumption,” in
a bid to avoid a ban on its sale. Also sold on the street, bath salts fall into
the same DEA classification as amphetamines, mescaline, and ephedrine.
What Are the Effects of Bath
CNN reports, “The effects include producing feelings of empathy,
stimulation, alertness, euphoria, sensory awareness and hallucinations. Other
reported effects include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and sweating.
According to the DEA, MDPV has been reported to cause intense panic attacks,
psychosis, and a strong desire to use the drug again.”