First, there was the man in Florida who seemed to have super-human strength and an appetite for human flesh. Once the media got ahold of the story and labeled it a “zombie attack”, it became a major news item. Experts weighed in. Since then, additional cases have come to light. Now, many are blaming bath salts.
These aren’t your typical bath salts, though. Unlike the product you put in your bathtub to soothe and relax, these bath salts are designer drugs with some potent effects.
What are bath salts?
Since they are relatively new to the scene, bath salts take different forms and may be made from different synthetic chemicals, including mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone.
Drug designers call the drug bath salts and label them “not for human consumption” to avoid detection (and until recently were not illegal in many states). But make no mistake; bath salts (the drug) are not like your typical bath salts (Epsom salt, etc.)
Bath salts are sold on the street as alternatives to cocaine and LSD and may also be called Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss.
Do bath salts create zombies?
As more and more stories surface about humans consuming parts of other humans as a result of drug use, this is the question on everyone’s mind.
The problem is that these drugs are relatively new and have not been extensively researched. However, there are several side effects of these drugs that have led different organizations to label its users as “zombies”.
Excessive strength – As a stimulant, bath salts have been shown to give the user an uncanny strength. Recently, in Calgary, Canada an officer on the scene of an alleged bath salts case stated, “We were a little surprised by this because this fella that we encountered, he actually turned out to be extremely powerful for his size and completely impervious to any sort of pain compliance techniques we might have been able to use on him.”
Overheating – Bath salts have been known to cause rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure that can cause the user to feel like he or she is overheating. This is the reason that in many of the reported cases, the user is naked, having stripped themselves of their clothes.
Psychological damage – In a small study by the CDC, 91% of the bath salts users were found to have neurological symptoms and 49% had psychological symptoms associated with the drug. Many reported hallucinations, including seeing monsters and aliens. This is the potential side effect that may be causing the “cannibalism” seen in recent news stories.
While we may not yet know all there is to know about this new drug, one thing is clear: it can be highly addictive and extremely dangerous. And the use of bath salts continues to increase. The number of cases reported to the CDC in 2009 was 2. In 2011, that number climbed to 900.