Naked, face eating drug users who attack their neighbors and threaten their families all while growling with superhuman strength, impervious to restrain. It’s an all out epidemic in the United States caused by a powdery substance known as Bath Salts.
Bath salts mimics the effects of amphetamines, cocaine, LSD and/ or ecstasy and the designer drug has law enforcement and government officials as well as medical professionals scrambling for answers and planned prevention.
“It’s unbelievable the irrational, delusional nature of these people,” said Dr. Tim Page, director of the emergency department at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. “There’s no reasoning with these folks. They’re aggressive. … There’s a tendency to biting or self harm or cannibalism, like chewing on somebody’s face. It’s not a good high and until we educate the public, I’m afraid we’re going to still see this stuff.”
Official have a serious lack of knowledge about the chemistry, effects and treatment of these synthetic drugs, as well as the limitations of attempts to ban them.
“They’re so new, we don’t know a whole lot yet about them,” said Jeanna Marraffa, a clinical toxicologist with the Upstate New York Poison Center at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
“It’s challenging, it’s scary and really has become an epidemic,” she added. “And again, it’s somewhat frustrating for us. … A lot of times, my answer is ‘I don’t know.’ And it’s because we don’t have a lot of the research yet. We don’t have a lot of the experience yet. It is a challenge for us every day.”