Set aside all the talk of zombies and this synthetic drug is still the stuff of horror movies.
Are bath salts to blame for a recent gruesome attack in Florida? Many are likening the alleged attacker, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, to a zombie due to the violent attack that apparently included him chewing on the flesh of a homeless man’s face.
It all started when a naked Eugene was found attacking an elderly man. The startled witness flagged down a passing police officer.
"When the officer approached him, told him to stop, pointed a gun at him, he turned around and growled like a wild animal and kept eating at the man's face," Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar told CNN.
Because the crime was caught on camera, the story of a “zombie attack” has gone viral.
The more reasonable explanation is that Eugene was under the influence of bath salts, also called “the new LSD.” Emergency room staff in the Miami area confirm that the behavior is consistent with what they’ve seen in bath salt users. Apparently, the synthetic stimulant can make users delirious, paranoid and delusional. They also have extreme physical strength, exhibit elevated temperatures and feel no pain.
These bath salts, which have nothing to do with bathing and are sold over the counter in convenience stores and drug paraphernalia shops, contain amphetamine-like chemicals and are usually ingested or snorted.
In October 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration made possession of the stimulants in bath salts, Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone, illegal under an emergency order. The order lasts for a year with a possible six-month extension. The stimulants have also been banned or placed under restrictions in 37 states, according to a DEA press release.
That doesn’t seem to keep people from getting their hands on this dangerous drug. It’s also little consolation to Eugene’s victim, who police have said was in critical condition and missing 75 to 80 percent of his face.
Drug Abuse Help at The Canyon
If you or someone you love needs drug treatment, call The Canyon at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.