Violent Attacks Blamed on Bath Salts on The Rise

The designer drug may have been related to cannibalistic attack in Miami.

The newest “designer drug” making headlines today is known as generically as “bath salts.” Sold around the country under such names as “Vanilla Sky,” “Purple Wave,” “Ivory Wave,” “Zoom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Bliss” and others, the drug is available on-line at and mini-markets around the country. It has sparked thousands of calls to poison control centers over the last year and has been reported to be involved in the incident last month in Miami where a man was eating a homeless man’s face. Police reportedly shot the assailant, who then continued his attack until being shot again.

Bath Salts is a constantly changing mixture of many chemicals. Three of the most common ingredients, MDPV, methylone and mephedrone, were cited last year by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as an “imminent threat to public safety” and sale and possession of the three stimulants was temporarily banned. However, once a particular chemical is banned, the makers of the drug simply turn to another derivative and continue production. This constantly changing formula, similar to synthetic marijuana, is one of the issues that makes fighting these designer drugs so difficult for authorities.  Described as a synthetic and “super-charged” form of speed, it affects the brain like a combination of methamphetamine and cocaine. It also, as in the Florida case, has been known to cause episodes of unusual strength, similar to PCP. 

The dangers of bath salts are becoming more and more obvious as more crimes are reported in which the drug plays a part. Even before the highly publicised case in Florida, assaults, murders and suicides involving bath salts have been reported across the country. The inexpensive drug is said to cause users to feel agitated, paranoid, and suicidal. It can also cause hallucinations, chest pain, high blood pressure and increased pulse. Since the drug is still relatively new, little research has been done into other possible physical and psychological effects it may have.

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