Uncanny comparisons to the zombie apocalypses depicted in films are often made with "bath salts," a designer drug that recently returned to the national spotlight due to a report from Miami concerning the case of Rudy Eugene chewing his victim's face before being shot by police.
Poison Control centers around the country continue to field an influx of calls related to the drug, as more law enforcement officials try to control those under its influence.
Bath salts are a cocktail of stimulants, which are each dangerous enough in their own right. The three key ingredients are mephedrone, MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone), and methylone.
Poison control centers around the country fielded roughly 3,200 calls in 2010 related to bath salts ingestion, according to the AAPCC (American Association of Poison Control Centers). In 2011, that number rocketed to 13,000 calls, said the AAPCC, and 60 percent of the callers were under the age of 25. The numbers for 2012 are not yet available but are expected to be as high or higher.
The illicit drug is similar to bath water treatments in appearance alone, earning the substance its nickname, but the similarities end there.
"We don't know who called it (bath salts), but it's not like Epsom salt or any other thing you'd use for a bath," said Lt. Aaron Kirk of the Valdosta Police Department.
"It's just a name that distributors use to market it, similar to how synthetic marijuana was labeled potpourri."
The trio of stimulants are said to have effects that are comparable to those of methamphetamine, ecstasy and cocaine.
However, the worst effects of the aforementioned drugs are described as being among the most dominant effects experienced by bath salt users, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Valdosta's access to the interstate makes it prime grounds for the distribution of bath salts in the area, and Valdosta has seen one of the main ingredients of bath salts in the past in wide use.
MDPV was the active ingredient in "Night Lights," a party drug that, in Georgia, was sold primarily in Valdosta and Atlanta outlets.
The VPD's spokesman Kirk attributes the newly
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