“Bath salts” turn people into zombies

It’s the 21st century, but we seem to be in the midst of an epidemic of cannibalism.

It began with the Japanese man who served his cooked genitals to paid diners. Then, it was the naked man who gobbled up the face of a homeless man on a Miami causeway. Next came news of an Iranian professor who cut and ate his wife’s lips. Then it was the college student in Maryland who murdered, dismembered, and ate the heart and brain of his roommate.

Rudy Eugene, the Miami cannibal, had seemingly superhuman strength and eventually was shot dead by the first police officer who arrived on the scene. The president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Armando Aguilar believes Eugene was on a new street drug called “bath salts.” Emergency room doctors at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital said they  have seen a major increase in cases linked to the new drug. Dr. Paul Adams, of the hospital’s Emergency room, said in many of the cases, the person’s temperature has risen to an extremely high level and they become very aggressive. Some have used their jaws as a weapon during attacks. The patients were in a state of delirium and “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.”

Since then two further incidents have been linked to “bath salts.”

The first occurred on June 2, 2012, when a snarling homeless man, Brandon De Leon, threatened to eat two officers, echoing the Miami attack.

Police were forced to fit 21-year-old De Leon with a Hannibal Lecter-style mask after he was arrested for disturbing the peace in North Miami Beach. When put in a police cruiser De Leon slammed his head against the plexiglass divider and shouted at officers, “I’m going to eat you,” NBC Miami reported. He then growled, gnashed his teeth and tried to bite the hand of an officer attempting to treat his head wounds. Miami police said they believe he was on a cocktail of drugs, including “bath salts” called Cloud Nine.

Brandon De Leon (l); Carl Jacquneaux (r)

The second incident also took place on June 2, in Scott, a city in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. 42-year-old Carl Jacquneaux bit off a chunk of a man’s face in a bloody attack. An arrest warrant affidavit charges that Jacquneaux “began biting the victim in the face, removing flesh the size of a quarter below the victim’s left eye” and “biting off half his cheek.” A friend of the victim said that Jacquneaux had been using bath salts prior to the attack.

If the people on “bath salts” seem more than addicts but demonic to you, you will find it interesting that Freddy Sharp, a former bath-salts addict, describes the drug’s effect as “evil.”

As recounted by CNN’s Ashley Hayes, June 4, 2012, Sharp had to be strapped by paramedics onto a gurney and restrained, yet he’s singing, making faces and twitching. He told CNN’s Don Lemon that he was hallucinating about being in a mental hospital and being possessed by Jason Voorhees, the character from the “Friday the 13th” movies:

“I’d never experienced anything like that. You feel like you’re 10 feet tall and bulletproof, and you actually do not feel any pain. It really actually scared me pretty bad. I just felt all kinds of crazy. It felt so evil. It felt like the darkest, evilest thing imaginable.”

Sharp said he never felt the urge to “eat anybody’s flesh” while under the influence of bath salts. But he said his overdose was a turning point and described the experience as “Fear. Darkness. It felt like impending doom was coming down on me … I felt like I was about to bust loose and actually hurt somebody. I felt like if I lost that control, anything could happen.”

He said the experience was the worst of his life: “it will destroy your life. It will destroy your family. It will destroy everything.” And coming off the drug was also difficult, quite aside from the withdrawal. He said “whenever it comes out of you, you can smell it in your hair–unclean, nasty, unkempt, chemically-type smell. It’s so nasty.”

See Sharp for yourself in this CNN video. He looked like he needed an exorcist!

So what are “bath salts”?

To begin, they are not the same substance used to scent your bathwater. Those bath salts are Epsom salts. The evil “bath salts” contain amphetamine-like chemicals such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and are sold as “cocaine substitutes” or “synthetic LSD.” Its effects include paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions and psychotic episodes.

I compiled the following from an article by Matt McMillen for WebMD. The article is in the form of an interview McMillen conducted with Zane Horowitz, MD, an emergency room physician and medical director of the Oregon Poison Center.

What are “bath salts”?: “Bath salts” are a synthetic or “designer” drug made from three chemicals — the synthetic stimulants mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone. Newer pyrovalerone derivatives are being made by illegal street chemists. Nobody really knows what goes into the making of “bath salts” because there is no way to test for these substances. People are making this drug out of household products, stuff that’s in their kitchens.

Why are they called bath salts?: By marketing the synthetic drug as bath salts and labeling them “not for human consumption,” the makers have been able to avoid them being identified as illegal.

Street names for “bath salts”: Some examples are Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky, Bliss. I found these (see below) by doing a Google search. Many of them are for sale online.

How are “bath salts” taken?: The people who take them are very creative. They snort it, shoot it, mix it with food and drink.

What do you experience when you take “bath salts”?: It’s a very scary stimulant that induces high blood pressure, increased pulse, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, chest pain, and suicidality that persists even after the stimulatory effects of the drugs have worn off. “Bath salts” have sparked thousands of calls to poison centers across the U.S. over the last year. But right now, there’s no test to pick up this drug. The only way we know if someone has taken them is if they tell you they have.

Are “bath salts” addictive?: We don’t know, because we have not had enough long-term experience with it. Acute toxicity is the main problem. But many stimulants do cause a craving.

Are “bath salts” illegal?: No. They are sold in mini-marts and smoke shops as Ivory Wave, Bolivian Bath, and other names. The people who make “bath salts” have skirted the laws that make these types of things illegal. While several states have banned their sale, ultimately it will have to be a federal law that labels these as a schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value but a high potential for abuse, and declare them illegal.

What is the federal government doing or not doing about it?: In October 2011, citing an “imminent threat to public safety,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made illegal the possession and sale of the three chemicals commonly used to make bath salts. The ban is effective for at least a year, during which time, the agency will decide whether a permanent ban is warranted. It’s most likely that the DEA will make permanent the illegal possession and sale of the chemicals that are used to make “bath salts”. But cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are also illegal, and they are all still out there.

Why “bath salts” are an especially terrible drug: The drug combines into one the effects of methamphetamine (paranoia and aggressiveness), LSD (hallucinations), and PCP (extreme paranoia), resulting in unpredictable effects on human behavior [such as cannibalism!] It can take five or six grown men to restrain a bath salts user. It’s PCP on crack. Last year in Panama City, Florida, police saw two violent incidents linked to use of bath salts. In one, a woman allegedly tried to behead her 71-year-old mother; in the second, a man on bath salts used his teeth to tear up the back seat of a patrol car.

And cases are on the rise.

~Eowyn

33 responses to ““Bath salts” turn people into zombies

  1. I read one of those was into voo doo , can you check it out for us?

    • I didn’t see that. But the girl-friend of the Miami cannibal did say that she thinks a voodoo curse had been put on Rudy Eugene. If Eugene was on “bath salts,” he didn’t need a voodoo curse to go all psycho-demonic!

  2. I just don’t get it…I mean, when they take drugs to escape to a “better place” I can sort of understand their reasoning; but this?? To go to the most evil, demented place you can imagine with the real possibility of killing or being killed, and what sounds like, physically, a horrible experience with no escape…why not just shoot yourself in the eye with a nail gun?

  3. Perhaps the real culprit is anti-depressants. That’s more believable than
    “bath salts.” I could be wrong, it’s just a hunch.

    • Besides, a central flaw in Al’s claim has to do with timing:

      If anti-depressants are the cause of these zombie cannibals, why now? Why is there a zombie outbreak when Americans have been on anti-depressants for years and years?

    • I’ve seen other people take this stuff and they had some very unpleasant “side effects.” The one side effect I noticed was a complete break down of ones conscience or moral system. While you may feel better in your mood, the real damage may be something in the future. If it were me, I wouldn’t take them.

      This stuff is extremely dangerous and I believe that people who take them are going to make things much worse down the line. Can’t take a pill to fix everything.

  4. At least my state, Louisiana has banned bath salts since Jan. of 2011. It claimed the life of a doctors son, by suicide. He went to the state legislature and had it banned. There have been plenty of busts of the “Shop Rite”/7-11 type stores. So they have been strictly enforcing the law.

    http://www.kalb.com/Global/story.asp?S=13795838

  5. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for this important post. What a terrible evil that possesses a person and causes such harm to others. On a regular basis meth addicts came before me in employment cases and found them frightening. Bath salts are a mixtures of drugs that are so dangerous. This is just another tool Satan uses to tempt humankind to destroy themselves and become slaves of him.

  6. Stuff like this is really scary. Not only do the drugs have such a horrible affect on the person using’ but he or she is liable to do some devastating things to other people. I mean eating another person? sh””’! I refuse to walk down the street unarmed , because even if these aren’t zombies; they are just as strong and destructive. I am glad I have a license to carry

    • Lucky you! I live in Illinois the ONLY state without CC laws. So I solely depend on at LEAST one guardian angel and perhaps more. Thankfully God’s kids have those!

      • I’ve got pepper spray on my key chain (that my daughter got me and now she doesn’t even carry hers). But I don’t know that I’d think of getting it in such an emergency. I just try and be VERY aware and allow it to show where ever I am, especially if alone. But a taser is a good idea (providing I didn’t tase my SELF!). You can also hit an attacker on the ridge of the nose between the eyebrows with something hard too (if you can reach that area). But I doubt someone on this stuff (that’s obviously like PCP) would likely be effected. It’s some BAD BAD stuff!

  7. End of days.
    More bodies than souls.

  8. I suspect- no- BLAME- those in high places of not only allowing this bath salt to be sold, but of being directly responsible for it’s availability for purchase. By high places, I mean law makers- government agents. There is absolutely NO way it could have been available without their direct nod of approval. To assume that those IN power are mere observers is blind ignorance. Knowing this, we truly are under the power of a very evil and sadistic power.

    • kris,

      I think you are on to something here.

      Last year, the Centers for Disease Control published an “Educational Comic” about a zombie pandemic in the south-east. Guess which region are Rudy Eugene, Brandon De Leon, and Carl Jacquneaux in? — Miami and North Miami Beach in Florida, and Scott, Louisiana. All in the southeast!

      Mere coincidence?

    • Totally agree Kris!

      They are not putting a stop to it b/c they do not want too! Heck, the reason this crap has “skirted” the laws is probably b/c the lawmakers helped introduce it into society!

  9. Muhammad Ibrahim

    Let me check if I’ve understood this correctly… Some back-street drug dealers have figured out how to make an extremely dangerous designer drug using commonly available household chemicals. The product of their culinary labours is then professionally packaged and then placed on the shelves of local convenience stores for the public to buy.

    I think I’m missing something here. Even if the local drug dealers have somehow gained PhDs in pharmacology and are now manufacturing military-grade designer drugs in their own kitchens, who is handling all the packaging and distribution?

    Something just doesn’t add up here. If, on the other hand, you tell me that the CDC might be somehow involved in a sinister plot to turn people into zombies, then I would have no problem believing it.

  10. I live in Illinois across the Mississippi from St. Louis, MO where (in Missouri in particular) there has been an L..O..N..G ongoing battle with meth makers and users. On the local news a couple of nights ago we were informed about a woman who was arrested in a Walmart (I think) with a BOTTLE of meth ON HER person. The ‘new thing’ apparently is to ‘cook’ the meth while they carry it (I guess the jostling of the liquid cooks it?). Oh, and this particular method of producing it doesn’t make meth to sell but rather makes it for PERSONAL use. She had a child with her and if memory serves the ENTIRE store had to be evacuated because essentially the woman was carrying a BOMB! She’s not the first case arrested for this either. Isn’t the devil CREATIVE (sadly)? :(

  11. edward oleander

    We haven’t seen any clear cases of bath salts yet at my Detox, and I am NOT looking forward to it. Crack, meth, and PCP are bad enough, and all the research we’ve done to get ready for it says that Dr. Eowyn’s info is spot on… This s*** is nasty! I am seriously considering a pocket taser for when I’m working out on the streets…

    I think some people here are WAY over-estimating the government’s ability to control the production and sale of both illegal and ought-to-be-illegal substances. Not even the Chinese have been able to curb their escalating drug usage, and we know how THEY react. There is no real evidence of an FDA or CDC plot to allow this to go on.

    The legalities that allow this crap to be sold in head shops are the same ones that help keep the Free Market free. To clamp down tight enough to prevent it from happening at all would ALSO cause huge intrusions into the lives of ordinary citizens who come up with legitimate inventions. That is why the government has to REact, instead of being PROactive. You can’t really have it both ways, and the more watchdogging those agencies do, the more money and people they need. Do we REALLY want some governmental bureaucracy to decide ahead of time if something can be abused, and if it should be allowed?

    Besides, the naming and packaging schemes are just temporary, and are the result of evil people gaming the system. Laws and regulations are catching up (to the extent that they can), so within a few years, the supply will be limited to black market sources.

    • There’s a lot of good ‘sane’ info in your comments Edward but where I live (I suspect where you live too) we ALREADY have to sign for an allotted amount of Sudafed 24 hr now and have had to for quite some time because of meth users and makers. So there’s the local/state government already being proactive right there. It’s SO insulting to be made to feel like criminals because of those who want illegal drugs but that’s how it is.

      And yes there will eventually be laws (attempting) to control the substances for making ‘bath salts’ but evil knows NO bounds and before long a new designer drug will take it’s place, possibly even more dangerous than salts.

      Are you an EMT? It sounds like it. I wouldn’t blame you at ALL for keeping a taser on your person when working on the street, for YOUR safety and for the victim’s safety (the victim of the drug(s)! Of course I find it hard to believe that the law would allow for that (but I don’t know that). Regardless, I pray God protects you as you do your work too!

      • edward oleander

        Thank you, Joanne! My wife and I live on Sudafed and Actifed, because nothing else helps, and we have to sign like criminals too. It DOESN’T work, either, because the bad guys have figured out how to rotate their shopping to get what they need. Last year WV reported a rise in the number of meth labs after a decade of decline…

        You got me pegged! I was a Licensed First Responder before becoming a nurse, and still love doing 1st Aid when the need pops up. My work on the streets is volunteer with a true saint of a doctor (both a son and father of missionary doctors), so I will be able to carry the taser legally. Doc is trying to talk me out of it though, so it’s creating a bit of a dilemma for me. I would sooner cut off my foot than disappoint him…

  12. Another fine consequence of the ‘War on Drugs’. Rather than allowing any and every natural drug (cocaine from the coca plant, marijuana from the plant, heroin from the opium poppy) to be legal and therefore requiring individuals to be responsible for their own actions, everything germinating from nature is illicit and banned.

    But what can’t be banned is the urge in many humans to change, if for only a brief period of time, their mental image of themselves or the way they feel about the world around them. So some people drink alcohol (most not to excess) and others use illegal narcotics.

    Knowing there’s always a market is incentive for some rather ingenious folk to come up with new chemicals (not plant based) that, until the federal gov’t acts, are wholly legal. And thus some people find away around the current laws that define the War on Drugs.

    And humans will always attempt to find a way to either stimulate or depress their mental state. And as long as the War on Drugs continues, more and more dangerous creations will make their way into our fellow American’s bloodstream.

    • Hey, KPR,

      The day I support an end to making narcotics illegal is the day when:

      1. Those who take cocaine, meth, LSD, marijuana, “bath salts” — whatever — hurt only themselves but not innocent others, like their families, friends, and strangers who have the misfortune to cross the addict’s path.

      2. Those who take cocaine, meth, LSD, marijuana, “bath salts” — whatever — are ENTIRELY responsible for their own health costs (medical & psychological therapy) for what those drugs do to them.

      That’s what wrong with your brand of libertarianism — you’re all about the individual’s absolute liberty, but not about his/her taking responsibility for the exercise of that absolute liberty.

  13. Prohibition wont help! They will just come out w something else. The way to fix it is to legalize marijuana. Give ADULTS control over what they put in their body. Drugs are used because there is a demand. We will never be able to fix that! Give people a safe drug (and yes it can be used safely. One way to do this is to smoke using a vaporizer) That way not only do we put drug dealers and cartels out of business but can reduce the number of people desperate to get high. Alcohol prohibition didnt solve anything. Banning chemicals is a band-aid and will not solve the issue. These products with these terrible substances are coming out too fast to be banned. 41 new synthetic drugs were made in Europe in the last year alone.
    I know there will be objection to marijuana’s safety. If you can provide one case of marijuana alone killing someone directly, your source is wrong.

    • The cause-&-effect logic of (a) legalizing marijuana, and (b) combating the “bath salts” epidemic — escapes me.

    • Shellie, people can get all the pot they WANT now days. In fact statistics show that teenagers are now smoking more pot than are smoking reg. cigarettes. They’re doing so because of the national campaign informing of the danger (physically) of smoking cigarettes. They (mistakenly) think that pot is ‘safe’ and regular cigs aren’t…..wrong on BOTH accounts! Bath Salts and now other ‘similar’ yet different designer drugs are STILL here (i.e..as discussed in this blog) and growing in their use. I just heard on local broadcasting tonight (St. Louis, MO) about a NEW ‘ingredient’ in a recently confiscated bath salt ‘type’ drug that they’d NEVER seen until now. But they found it in one (only one so far) of their confiscated packages. The people (producing the designer drugs) aren’t doing it BECAUSE pot is illegal OR hard to get. They’re doing it because dopers WANT it. This really has NOTHING to do with pot or the fact it is illegal. That argument just doesn’t fit into this discussion.

  14. I do not care much for the tags; psychotic, drugs, cannibalistic rituals… you try and eat a living human being, you’re a zombie!

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