Bath salts will eat your flesh


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Remember last year's fuss about the street drug marketed as "bath salts"? In January 2011, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services head Bruce Greenstein and law enforcement officials announced the faux-bath salts posed such a danger to Louisiana youth that the drug had been added to the state's Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, which made them illegal to manufacture, purchase or use. As Gambit's Alex Woodward reported:

According to the governor's office, Louisiana Poison Control handled nearly 200 calls from September 2010 to January 2011 regarding bath salts — calls in December accounted for 61 percent of the calls received nationally. Nationwide, bath salts have been responsible for at least 12 deaths, and more than 4,000 intoxication cases have been documented.

So, kids: Do you still think bath salts are "cool" or "groovy"? Well, think again, because they will EAT YOUR FLESH. We'll put the rest of the story (and a photo) under the cut ...

Necrotizing fasciitis in a human leg.
  • Necrotizing fasciitis in a human leg.

A new study by a resident at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, published this month in Orthopedics magazine, finds that some users of the illicit substance contract "necrotizing fasciitis," or flesh-eating bacteria. Take the example of one woman who went to the hospital when she noticed something creepy going on with her skin:

She then admitted that she had injected "bath salts" two days before she developed symptoms. When the patient was reexamined, she had rapidly progressing redness, skin sloughing, and drainage. Necrotizing fasciitis was suspected and she immediately underwent emergent surgical debridement and exploration, and more antibiotics were added. The infection moved so fast that pink, healthy tissue was literally dying before the surgeons' eyes. They had to keep removing tissue until they reached clear margins of healthy tissue to stop the progression of disease. By the time they were finished, the patient's arm, shoulder, and collarbone had to be amputated, and a radical mastectomy performed.

For the story — and some seriously disgusting photos of necrotizing fasciitis turning a bath salts user's body into human hamburger — read the whole study.


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