'Bath Salts' Drug Fueling Vicious Attacks

bath salts
Rudy Eugene (L) and Ronald Poppo are seen in this combination of undated handout photos released by the Miami-Dade Police Department May 30, 2012. Eugene was fatally shot by police after he refused to stop gnawing on Poppo's face and may have been under the influence of a new form of the 1960s hallucinatory drug LSD, a top police officer said on Wednesday. (Reuters/Handout)

A terrifying drug called "bath salts" is sweeping the nation. Its users do things that have, up until now, only been seen in horror movies.

Despite the harmless sounding name, health experts warn it's a vicious and dangerous drug.

People high on bath salts are highly agitated, paranoid and strong beyond belief, like one teenager police recently apprehended in Florida.

"I think this kid was a normal kid walking around maybe the week before," Bay County Florida Sheriff Frank McKeithen said.

Law enforcement have great difficulty restraining people high on bath salts as users are unpredictable and, worst of all, extraordinarily violent.

One homeless Miami man named Ronald Poppo, 65, is still recovering after the majority of his face was eaten off by a man said to be high on bath salts. Rudy Eugene, the alleged attacker, was later killed by police.

Super-Charged Speed
Bath salts are essentially super-charged speed. They ramp users up like a mixture of cocaine and methamphetamine. They're also cheap and the people who make them are tricky by constantly changing the ingredients.

Bath salts are sold as products not intended for consumption so they're not as strictly regulated as food or drugs. But when they're consumed, they make the user a danger to everyone, including themselves.

"I could easily imagine that this could lead to a sensation, many different sensations, many that you would like to tear your skin," Virginia Commonwealth University's Dr. Louis J. De Felice said. "I've heard about that, ripping your clothes."

The Drug Enforcement Administration currently bans the active compounds in baths salts, but are often one step behind the sale of this evolving drug and its users.

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