Are 'Bath Salts' a Problem in Woburn?

The drug that can turn people into "flesh-eating zombies" is in the northeast.


You've heard the news reports of drugs turning people into flesh-eating "zombies." But could this happen in Woburn?

Last month, the nation was horrified by reports that 31-year-old Rudy Eugene of North Miami Beach had stripped his clothing, attacked a homeless man and began gnawing on the man's face. Police shot and killed Eugene when officers ordered him to stop and the Florida man reportedly growled at officers, with pieces of flesh in his mouth, and continued eating the homeless man's face.

What turned Rudy Eugene into a naked flesh-eater is believed to be a drug called "bath salts," according to The Huffington Post. Bath salts are a mixture of chemicals that cause users to experience hallucinations, delusions, psychotic behavior and overheating of the body (causing many to strip off their clothes).

Although the drug is banned in many states, it has made an appearance in the New England area.

"Bath Salts are in the northeast, but are not really heard much of around the Woburn area," said an undercover detective with the Woburn Police Department and the Southeast Middlesex Regional Drug Task Force.

"Young people are so willing to try these drugs, often not illegal on the state level," continued the detective. "Federal agencies are always working to keep up with chemicals that are being used, but it takes months to get through legislation and then [users] are on to new chemicals."

If bath salts aren't a problem in Woburn, what is?

"Molly, a pure form of Ecstasy/MDMA, is our biggest problem right now in and around Woburn," said the detective. "The synthetic marijuanas (K2, spice, etc.) are also becoming problematic."

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Molly and other forms of Ecstasy can "produce feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and distortions in time, perception." Physically, the drug can increase heart rate and blood pressure, as well as "muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating."

Synthetic marijuanas are herbal mixtures of dried, shredded plant material and chemicals that can create a marijuana experience for the user, states the NIDA. They are illegal controlled substances that can cause mind-altering side effects. The NIDA also says that synthetic marijuanas, which are often marketed as "safe," can cause "rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations."

michelle s June 15, 2012 at 03:49 PM
This drug is something people should be aware of and know what it looks like as well. Bath Salts have dangerous consequences as noted in different news events in the United States. Although sold as a harmless substance used for relaxation, people are ingesting them seeking euphoria. In addition to experiencing altered moods, many bath salt users are having psychotic episodes marked with agitation, hallucinations and violent behavior. Because this drug is unfamiliar to medical professionals, doctors are still learning how to treat symptoms and overdoses of this drug. http://www.lakeviewhealth.com/bath-salts-infographic.php
David Chesler June 28, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Bath salts did not cause Rudy Eugene to get naked and chew off somebody's face. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/06/27/medical-examiner-causeway-cannibal-not-high-on-bath-salts/ Good, bad, or indifferent, you lose your credibility when you proclaim marijuana causes Reefer Madness and when you proclaim bath salts make you a zombie cannibal.
Earnhardt June 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Bad Stuff. Period. this rubbish should not be sold in stores or anywhere else! get it off the counters in stores scross the country. Anyone who argues they are not a problem has their head in the sand
Danielle Masterson June 28, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Thank you for the update, David! As I said in the original story: "What turned Rudy Eugene into a naked flesh-eater is BELIEVED TO BE a drug called "bath salts," according to The Huffington Post." In the story you linked to, CBS Miami also quotes the speculation quoted in the Patch/HuffPo story: "Speculation about the cause of Eugene’s rampage on Poppo’s face centered on drugs, specifically bath salts, after police union officials claimed an increase in bizarre behavior among people on the street using such drugs." The story also cites the same thing we mentioned, that "bath salts, a class of synthetic drugs that have been known to cause bizarre behavior and overheating of people who use them, two things that made some believe Eugene’s cannibalistic behavior could be blamed on the drugs." The important thing to take from this story is the fact that Woburn Police recognize that many young people in Woburn are using synthetic marijuana and ecstasy. I would think that would be a bigger local concern than speculation on Rudy Eugene's bath salts use or non-use?
dave December 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
People will jump on whatever the media says they should. Forget the zombies, I am more worried that people can't think for themselves anymore. That zombie you write about was found to have not a trace of a single analog substance found in bath salts. I think the guy was homeless and really hungry....or maybe the news told him to do it. That makes way more sense.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »