Bath salts, a highly volatile synthetic stimulant, have been in the news a lot lately because of several stories regarding their involvement in the recent "cannibal" and "zombie" stories coming from all over the country. They were rumored to be the cause of Rudy Eugene's freak-out when he attacked a homeless man in Miami over Memorial Day weekend and ate most of his face, and since then the drug has popped up sporadically in various states' police reports about violent attacks, which have almost all involved biting or flesh-eating.
And the stories just keep coming. A 20-year old Glendale, California man was arrested on Friday after attacking an elderly woman with a shovel; the woman apparently asked him to stop swinging the tool at some birds, and he allegedly turned on her, saying, “I hate you and I want to kill you today.”
The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries, but Robert White barricaded himself in his apartment for over an hour until police forced their way in; it reportedly took at least one rubber bullet and a taser to subdue White enough for paramedics to take him away for treatment. He later admitted to drinking soda spiked with bath salts.
So far, in every report where bath salts have been indicated as a cause for violence, there have been similar threads of a feeling of invincibility on the part of the user, as well as rage-induced super strength that causes police officers to break out several weapons in order to subdue them. The scariest part about bath salts is that they are easily obtained and are often sold (in some states) in gas stations and head shops under inconspicuous-sounding names, like "Cloud 9". Thus far, the psychosis the drug causes is enough to make officials wary when responding to certain calls, and some states are trying to ban the drug for good.
Image credit: Tim Berger / Times Community News