WTF is Monkey Dust and WHY would anyone take it?
In the early 2000s bath salts were the new "legal" drug that was creating havoc and killing people on a daily basis. The media was in a frenzy covering the migration of the drug as it swept across the country leaving a trail of dead bodies in its wake. Unfortunately, that happens with legal and illegal drugs in America on a daily basis, so what made bath salts so special?
There were three main reasons.
The drug was legal. Synthetic cathinones such as mephedrone, which are similar to cathinone, naturally found in the plant Catha edulis (khat), were first synthesised in the 1920s. They remained obscure until the first decade of the 21st century, when underground chemists rediscovered them and began to use them in designer drugs, as the compounds were legal in many jurisdictions.
Bath salts have been around for decades before hitting the States and western Europe, most prominently in Russia and eastern Europe.
Bath salts" (also called "psychoactive bath salts" or "PABS") falls under this category. The name derives from instances in which the drugs were sold disguised as true bath salts. The white powder, granules, or crystals often resemble true bath salts such as Epsom salts, but as you can imagine are very different chemically. Dealers would have the drug's packaging often state "not for human consumption" in an attempt to circumvent drug prohibition laws.
2. The drug is cheap. The average price of a hit of Bath Salts is $5.
3. The violence it brings out in people after partaking in the drug. Incidents of people high on bath salts launching ultra-violent unprovoked attacks on innocent bystanders – biting, clawing and tearing at their flesh. The JAMA reports that the drug causes,”… extreme neurological and psychiatric changes—paranoia, terrifying hallucinations, psychosis, self-destructive and violent behavior…”
In addition to the psychotic/aggressive/violent behavior many form of bath salts have the bizarre effect of blocking the bodies pain sensors. Incidents of people fighting off police with a broken bone protruding from their arm or wounds so bad that their bone and tissue are completely exposed for weeks is not uncommon.
The medical community comments on Bath Salts are sobering, “Take all the bad attributes of ecstasy, PCP, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamine: lump them together, and that's what you get with bath salts,” says Mark Ryan, PharmD, director of the Louisiana Poison Center and assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
One of the more unique and possibly one of the worst side effects of this drug is what it does to your skin. Or more appropriately how it destroys your skin…it has been called the flesh-eating drug. A study published in the journal Orthopedics revealed a link between use of these salts and the flesh-eating bacteria or necrotizing fasciitis caused by an intramuscular injection of bath salts. I other words any of these flesh-eating bacteria such as, streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio vulnificus, Clostridium perfringens and Bacteroides fragilis) make their way into the injection site of the user and their compromised immune system allows the bacteria to run rampant. While these bacteria can normally be killed by antibiotics, surgery and even amputation becomes necessary once the infection progresses deep within the tissue.
One final note. The “Miami Zombie” who ate the face off a homeless man down in Florida was originally thought to be high on bath salts. He was not.