I came across a great Google map compiled by Newsweek and The Daily Beast called Zombie Instances, where they’re tracking “suspicious incidences or infections” and “acts of strange violence.”
To be honest, I’ve not been particularly pleased with the continual comparison of these attackers to zombies. At first, it was a humorous reference, sure. But after a while, it irritated me because it seems to make light of the issue.
It may be too early to pinpoint exactly what the issue is and what’s caused an onslaught of bizarre attacks, but many reports indicate bath salts as the culprit.
(An uncredited photo I found circulating on Facebook pokes fun at the recent phenomenon.)
My colleague Lauren and I were discussing this, and we wondered: What exactly are bath salts? Are they store-bought? Are they made from store-bought products?
Here’s a description I found while reading a Reuters article about bath salts:
What are “bath salts”? We’re not talking about the cosmetic variety that you add to bath water for soaking. Rather, the term “bath salts” describes illegal designer street drugs that have been linked to violent delusions and even death.
Apparently, the drug is like a combination of LSD, ecstasy and cocaine. What makes it scarier?
Because bath salts are made by “street chemists,” there’s really no way to know what chemicals are actually contained in any given quantity of bath salts, one expert told WebMD. There’s also no medical test to detect bath salts in a patient. “The only way we know if someone has taken them is if they tell you,” the expert said.
We found this video and story on CNN that shows a man from Bristol, Tenn., who overdosed on bath salts. “It felt so evil. It felt like the darkest, evilest thing imaginable,” he told CNN.
According to the article, “He said he was hallucinating about being in a mental hospital and being possessed by Jason Voorhees, the character from the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies.”
It can take “five or six grown men” to restrain a bath salts user, attorney Alex Manning said. “It’s PCP on crack.”
Watching him in the midst of his reaction to the drug is something I can’t put into words. It’s truly chilling.
And while these recent events have gotten a lot of attention, it’s not necessarily a new problem.
More than a year ago, in January 2011, we ran a story about officials’ concerns about bath salts becoming a serious drug problem.
The first sentence of that story?
When Neil Brown got high on bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly.
Sounds suspiciously similar to the things we’ve been seeing lately, except this man attacked himself.
Then in August of last year, a Kingsport man who snorted bath salts was arrested for abusing 911 after he called 14 times to ask police to find his estranged wife and ask her to come home. Not a violent reaction, but certainly a strange one.
Whether these attacks are brought on my bath salts or something else is unclear, but it’ll be interesting to learn more about both as time goes on.
Today, one after one, I’ve come across some weird news stories. I don’t know what it is about this particular Thursday …
Tonight’s plans: troll Craigslist for biotches trying to pass off fake handbags as designers. #oldladyalready #igotchagirlz #ainthappenin
Well, OK. The Tweet was soon deleted, but we were able to at least grab a screen shot of the offense.