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."

Earnhardt June 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM
They are catching on quickly though,,, Quicker than you think.
Ashley June 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Bath salts are made available at any drugstore or grocery store. They aren't expensive and there form doesn't need to be altered. Bath salts is not an alternate form is how you buy them.
Earnhardt June 11, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Any store owner that sells this stuff is a low class Businessman anyways. Just because it is legal doesn't mean you should sell it. Smarten up and get this crap off your shelves. Be responsible, not low class.
David Chesler June 11, 2012 at 05:23 PM
There is no evidence that Eugene used bath salts, just musings by people without direct knowledge saying anyone acting that crazy must have used bath salts. It's circular to say "A could only have been caused by B; therefore B is bad because it causes A." See Jack Shafer: http://blogs.reuters.com/jackshafer/2012/05/31/drug-panics-bath-salts-and-face-eating-zombies/
Danielle Masterson (Editor) June 11, 2012 at 06:39 PM
According to news reports, the toxicology on Rudy Eugene hasn't been completed yet, and may not be for months, so we don't know for sure whether bath salts were the actual cause. However, police are concerned that the chemicals that make up "bath salts" can cause these types of reactions, such as what was seen in the Miami case. The real question here is: Should bath salts be banned in Massachusetts before they become a real problem? States like New York have already banned the chemical cocktail...
Ashley June 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Why shouldn't they is the real question. People don't need bath salts to live so if they are banned they won't be missed.
David Chesler June 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Ashley, are you calling for banning the thousands of other things people don't need to live on that basis?
Earnhardt June 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM
David come on why twist it to fit your argument? you know exactly what she meant. Maybe she did not "Phrase" it the way you would have, but your like a bad radio talk show host.
David Chesler June 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM
What does she mean? That they're harmful? There are plenty of harmful things that other people enjoy. It's not a hypothetical slippery slope when Mayor Bloomberg is trying to ban large sodas and Concord banned single-sale bottled water. Every few years there is a new scare, we get some new laws that ruin lives (remember crack and the generation of crack babies?) and then we move onto something else. What is the limiting principle? What potentially harmful substance shouldn't be banned because people have a right to pursue their happiness?
Earnhardt June 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Twist and shout... lolol maybe when your kids get into it you will play a different tune,, meanwhile keep up the comments,, if nothing else you make it fun. Sodas and bathe salts fall into different categories, I don't think drinking a can of coke could cause you to murder someone, or go into big hallucinations, so banning sodas is kind of rediculous, but Bath Salts? ban them! The limiting principle should be plain to you: But I guess like me you live for the argument,So two simple answers here, #1 should bath salts be banned? yes or no. #2 are they more harmful than soft drinks? Yes or no.
David Chesler June 14, 2012 at 01:00 PM
#1 No. #2 Yes. I'm happy the pendulum is swinging the other way on Reefer Madness, but there's too much knee-jerk calling to ban things that those calling for the ban won't miss.
Earnhardt June 14, 2012 at 01:05 PM
As I said, when your kids get into them because they are available at the local 7-11 you will change your mind,,, or you will try to sue the store owner for damages. I can see the headline now: David Chesler sues Moe's Minute Mart for selling Bath salts to his children... as always. peace to you.
David Chesler June 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I'm not in the habit of suing people who haven't harmed me. I don't need laws to keep myself or my kids from bad habits, and the laws won't stop me or them if we can't stop ourselves.
Earnhardt June 14, 2012 at 01:48 PM
We shall see... great job watching your kids 24/7 too. my hat is off to you... Agreed they cannot stop you, but they sure can make it harder,,, :)
David Chesler June 14, 2012 at 02:38 PM
The kids have to be self-governing. I can't watch them, ever-changing laws can't watch them. They'll make mistakes and learn. Unlike the drug warriors I don't have to say "I was exaggerating last time, but this time I really mean it."
Earnhardt June 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Self Governing, how did that work out when you were a kid? I am betting kids have not changed much. I think it our time it was called "following the crowd" If its staring them in the face at the store counter, and all the buddies are doing it. guess what is going to happen? But, if it was against the law to sell, it just makes it that much harder to get a hold of. So be it if you think I am a "Drug Warrior". How many kids are smoking ciggaretts? I see a lot still smoking. But if it was against the law for them to be sold... well. somehow I dont think we would see so many smoking. Twist it anyway you want. I agrre laws cannot stop you, but as I stated they sure can make it harder. Self Governing.... hmmm
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 (Editor) 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