Bath Salts Feared Behind Causeway Cannibal: Permanent Federal Ban Needed

Author: Carole Di Tosti.
Published: May 30, 2012 at 5:25 am

"Bath salts" the code name in teenspeak for the trending designer drug that has been touted as the new LSD once again is in the news, this time in Miami. The crime that took place on Saturday, the 26th of May shocked South Florida. A naked man was shot by Miami Police on the MacArthur Causeway. He was eating another naked man's face.There is growing fear that the "zombie-like" attack was caused by the dangerous white powder. (The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made illegal the possession and sale of three of the chemicals commonly used to make bath salts — the synthetic stimulants mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone.)

Armando Aguilar, the president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police thinks the cannibal attack by 31-year-old Rudy Eugene was caused by "bath salts," which go under fanciful names like Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, White China, Dynamite and Cloud 9 and can be purchased in jars and packets in tobacco shops or paraphernalia shops in malls. Jackson Memorial Hospital Emergency room doctors echoed Aguilar saying they have seen a major increase in incidents linked to methylenedioxypyrovalerone. According to emergency room Dr. Paul Adams, "We noticed an increase probably after Ultra Fest."

"Bath salts" are more deadly than meth or coke because the drug chemists and their purveyors use loopholes in the law to get around the DEA ban by tweaking the chemicals used to create the drug. Short-term effects include very severe paranoia that can sometimes cause users to harm themselves or others. Effects reported to Poison Control Centers include suicidal thoughts, agitation, combative/violent behavior, confusion, hallucinations/psychosis, increased heart rate, hypertension, chest pain, death or serious injury. It takes 15 minutes for the drug to take effect and 4-6 hours for it to wear off. The powder is usually ingested by sniffing/snorting and can also be taken orally, smoked, or put into a solution and injected into veins.

Dr. Adams of Jackson Memorial Hospital noted that the "bath salts" user’s temperature rises to an extremely high level and they become very aggressive, sometimes using their jaws as a weapon during attacks. The patients are often delirious. Dr. Adams gave an example of one case to illustrate.

“Extremely strong, I took care of a 150 pound individual who you would have thought he was 250 pounds. It took six security officers to restrain the individual.” Adams continued, relating that the powerful strength and violence of patients on “bath salts”  threatens those charged with the task of assisting those high on the drug.

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Article Author: Carole Di Tosti.

Carole Di Tosti, Ph.D. is a published writer, novelist and poet. She writes for Blogcritics. She authors three blogs: 1) 2) 3) …

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