Officials now believe that the man who was caught in the cannibalistic attack of another man off a Miami highway, may have gotten high using "bath salts."
Getting high on "bath salts" is a growing trend among those seeking to get high off of household products that are not necessarily illegal. Sold under various names, the aromatherapy product is meant to be used for a therapeutic bath, but when inhaled or injected the product can lead to a dangerous high.
The result of a bath salt high is similar to that of "cocaine psychosis," which was previously mentioned in connection to the grisly crime.
The cannibalistic attack occurred on Saturday, around 2 p.m. off of a highway in Miami Florida. Police shot 31-year-old Rudy Eugene a number of times after he continued to maul his victim's face.
"The guy -- he was like a zombie, blood dripping; it was intense," Larry Vega, a biker was riding nearby and witnessed the incident, told reporters. "I never thought I would see someone eating someone. It was really, really horrific."
Eugene's victim, believed to be a homeless man, was in the hospital recovering on Monday in critical condition. Witnesses said the man's face was left barely recognizable.
According to Nora D. Volkow, M.D. the Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the over the counter "bath salts" contain "various amphetamine-like chemicals, such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV), mephedrone and pyrovalerone" and "are typically administered orally, by inhalation, or by injection, with the worst outcomes apparently associated with snorting or intravenous administration."
Eugene was "growling like an animal as he swallowed pieces of flesh" before officers fired the initial shot, according to The New York Daily News. Following the initial shot, the suspect continued "chomping on the man's ears, nose and cheeks -- and even tried to gouge out his eyeballs," before cops fired several more shots.
Eugene was killed at the scene.
"Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting or snorting 'bath salts' containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions," Volkow said. "These chemicals act in the brain like stimulant drugs (indeed they are sometimes touted as cocaine substitutes); thus they present a high abuse and addiction liability."