EUGENE, Ore. -- Dangerous chemicals found in bathing salt products are getting national attention after a Miami man, reportedly high on the drugs, ate the face off of another man while he was alive last week.
Miami police had to shoot 31-year-old Rudy Eugene to death because he would not stop eating a homeless man's face.
In Eugene, Dr. Ronald Schwerzler, who specializes in addiction medicine, said he has treated three patients in the last six months for dependence on chemicals found in some bath salts.
"They said it was a really good high until they got into that paranoid state and found that they were so afraid of everything they would be ready to jump out a window,” said Dr. Schwerzler, director of Serenity Lane, at his office on Monday. "They really aren't bath salts, but they're sold as bath salts."
Many bath salts are marketed as soothing aromatic agents. But Dr. Schwerzler said his patients are not using them at bath time.
“So, it’s a very dangerous drug, very toxic and can produce a lot of bad effects,” he said. “People will get very agitated, very nervous and can get paranoid. They can actually stroke and have heart attacks.”
The toxic chemicals found in many bath salts are three synthetic stimulants: mephedrone, MDPV and methylone.
Although banned by the federal government, these chemicals are still easily accessible.
KVAL News could not find any smoke or novelty shops in Eugene that admitted to selling illegal bath salts. But Dr. Schwerzler said that’s exactly where some of his patients got them.
“Ivory Wave, and some others - Bliss is one name,” he said. “And you can buy them right in the store.”
KVAL News also found bath salts for sale online to be shipped directly with a credit card purchase.