The synthetic version of marijuana, known as spice, made headlines recently when the Federal Government moved to extend the ban on its distribution. Now, a far more horrific substance nicknamed “bath salts” is hitting the streets. The name is certainly misleading and it’s definitely not going to give you a relaxing lavender scent while you lounge in the Jacuzzi with your lover; as one unfortunate young man from Tennessee discovered.

Freddy Sharp admits to using drugs since he was a teenager, hardly a crime in itself these days, but with his overdose on “bath salts” hitting the headlines on CNN, Mr. Sharp, now 27, has perhaps had his wakeup call.

Paramedics were unable to get any kind of response from Sharp as he ranted and raved about being in a mental asylum. He appeared to be hallucinating and totally unaware of his real circumstances. He said that despite experiencing other drugs: “This felt so evil. It felt like the darkest evilest thing imaginable.” He told paramedics that he was possessed by Jason, the hockey masked, serial killer from the hit movie Friday the 13th.

Bath Salts are known on the streets as the new LSD and generally sold as a cocaine substitute, however they don’t seem likely to inspire the counter culture revolution that their predecessor LSD did. Even Steve Jobs of Apple spoke highly of his experience with LSD. Containing amphetamine-like chemicals such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone, users report paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions and psychotic episodes.

Although toxicology reports are not yet confirmed, police are blaming the drug for an almost science fiction like horror attack on a homeless man in Miami. Dubbed the ‘Miami cannibal’ by the press, Rudy Eugene, is believed to have been taking the drug when he pounced on and chewed the face off a homeless man last month. The attack fit only for the movies, lasted some 20 minutes and only ended when police resorted to brute force and shot Eugene dead.

UPDATE – On June 29th, Miami Dade Medical Examiner’s office announced the Rudy Eugene had only marijuana in his system, no bath salts, alcohol, or any other street drug. (Link to article)

Officer Jose Rivera said he shouted at Eugene to stop, but the 31 year old took no notice, growled and carried on eating the man’s face. It sounds like something from a zombie movie. The victim known only as Popo, had been homeless for three decades, is still in critical condition at the Jackson Memorial Hospital with his nose, mouth and eyes chewed off.

Paul Adams, a doctor at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, told CNN that:

“This is a terrible drug because it takes a combination of methamphetamine, and the paranoia and the aggressiveness, and LSD, the hallucinations, and PCP, the extreme paranoia that you get, combines it into one, and has unpredictable effects on human behavior.”

Dr. Adams continues that these kinds of incidents are on the rise in Miami, with more emergency intakes relating to the drug. He says that a person intoxicated suffers from very high body temperatures and can tear off their clothes, becoming highly agitated and aggressive. Basically, they are in a state of total delirium.

Users also report feeling no pain, and feeling very strong. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the synthetic drug PCP that became quite popular in the 1970s. Dr. Adams clarifies that the drug is not only a danger to the users, but also to those around them, and especially to emergency workers having to try to deal with people in paranoid episodes.

“It’s dangerous for the fire fighters. It’s dangerous for the hospital workers taking care of them because they come in, they have to be restrained both chemically and physically and you’re asking for someone to get hurt.”

Sharp says he didn’t feel like eating people, but that he felt ten feet tall and super powerful. He went on to warn other users not to take it if they have any value for their life. “It will destroy your life. It will destroy your family. It will destroy everything.”

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Written by Rupert Shepherd