The media is abuzz about the gruesome attack by Rudy Eugene, a Miami man who chewed off his victim’s face while allegedly high on bath salts, all caught on camera, as Gawker reports.
Authorities are now viewing the drug as a rising health and safety concern. Coined the “Zombie Attack,” this incident led police to shoot Eugene and his victim remains in critical condition.
Friends describe the attacker as nonviolent despite several past run-ins with law enforcement. Bath salts are known to cause psychotic episodes and the Miami incident is not isolated.
A 19-year-old Colorado man was recently strangled to death and the episode was linked to bath salts as well, according to The Denver Post. Toxicology reports show the substance Alpha-PVP in his attackers body. Arrests have not been made yet in that case.
Authorities report that bath salts imitate the effects of stimulants like cocaine and are known to cause increased heart rates, high blood pressure and agitation. In the most severe cases, aggression, hallucinations and paranoia have occurred. Violence has also been reported nationwide as another side effect.
There have been 10 reports just this year involving bath salts and other combinations of these compounds, according to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. Colorado authorities say the cases are pretty new so they haven’t determined if these synthetics are linked to other deaths in their state.
The DEA says bath salts are an up and coming drug concern. Last October, the DEA issued emergency bans on the three common ingredients used to create bath salts and Congress is still debating whether or not to place a permanent ban on them.
Colorado lawmakers already passed a ban on several combinations of the synthetics they believe are used in the making of bath salts.