Bath salts may be to blame in Miami face-eating attack


by Carina Sonn

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:31 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 8:21 AM

MIAMI -- Police in Florida say bath salts may be to blame for the gruesome face-eating attack of a homeless man.

According to police, most of the victim's face was eaten as the suspect ignored police commands and growled at them. Both men were naked.

The victim is in critical condition while the suspect Rudy Eugene, 31, was shot several times by police officers. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now officials say bath salts, a readily available synthetic stimulant, are to blame.

Local treatment facilities have seen an increase in patients in recent years.

"Today alone, I've worked with three people, new clients, who have been addicted to bath salts," said Jaime Vinck with Journey Healing Centers.

Vinck says patients on bath salts suffer from delusions and hallucinations, sometimes leaving their family, their jobs and battling thoughts of suicide.

"John," who wanted to share his experience but not his name, knows all too well; he's been on the designer drug a handful of times.

"I started having very psychotic type of symptoms, hearing voices, I could have swore I was seeing things," he said. "It was very scary at times... The thoughts that I was having, they were insane but I was barricaded in my room when this happened, and I'm glad I was not in public."

"John," who is 18, is recovering from his addiction to multiple drugs, but says bath salts were the most dangerous, and easy to get.

Thankfully "John" is recovering, but the state's fight isn't over.

Earlier this year, Arizona banned a certain combination of bath salt ingredients. Since then manufacturers have been changing the compound to get around it.