Bath Salts

CBS News Revives the Myth That 'Bath Salts' Cause Cannibalism

How could a drug Rudy Eugene never took make him chew off someone's face?


In a story hyping "Florida's dangerous new drug trend," CBS News health reporter Jessica Firger says the active ingredient in flakka, alpha-PVP, is in "the same class of chemical that's used to make so-called bath salts, a drug that was found to be behind a number of alarming incidents, including the case of a man in Miami who allegedly chewed another man's face while high on bath salts in 2012." Who could forget the horrifying story of Rudy Eugene, the "Miami cannibal" who viciously attacked a homeless man named Ronald Poppo, leaving his face a mutilated mess? One minor detail that Firger did manage to forget: Eugene was not, in fact, "high on bath salts" at the time. Despite widespread, reckless speculation to that effect, toxicological tests found no trace of synthetic cathinones in his blood. Here is a report about that from an obscure outfit called CBS News.

Firger's casual misrepresentation gives you a sense of how shoddy reporting on the drug scare du jour tends to be. I especially like the fact that she says Eugene—who was shot dead by a police officer in the midst of his attack on Poppo, a crime that was captured by a surveillance camera—"allegedly chewed another man's face." Meanwhile, she slips in the whopper about the drug that supposedly made Eugene do it—a drug he had not actually taken—as if she is giving us the time of day.

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  1. Firger is a wealth of information

    If you’re reporting on cancer: A woman doesn’t have “breast cancer genes.” She has mutations to certain genes and that elevates her risk.


  2. the drug that supposedly made Eugene do it?a drug he had not actually taken

    See how dangerous bath salts are? You don’t even have to take them, and you chew a man’s face off.

  3. Other Firger brilliance:

    Just 1 percent of parents worried about their child’s risk of drowning in the bathtub, and nearly half said they have left their toddlers unattended in the tub, even though drowning is the leading cause of death at home for children ages 1 through 4.

    The reality is that most of those drownings occur when they fall into a pool. Bathtubs account for 10% and I’ll bet most of those are 1-2 years old.

  4. CBS News Revives the Myth That ‘Bath Salts’ Cause Cannibalism

    *Cause* is excessive, but they do make the meat tender and delicious.

  5. a drug that was found to be behind a number of alarming incidents

    I remain unalarmed. Perverse, I am.

  6. There is literally nothing the media likes more than “superdrug makes people go insane”. It’s pure, distilled animism taken to the nth degree. The evil, supernatural totem (drugz!!!) makes people go crazy the instant they get near it. And it sells, because so many people are animist, especially about “drugs”.

    I mean, you can’t get much more animist than “this evil thing makes anyone go insane who touches it”. And the media cannot help but push such narratives.

  7. Bath salts are last year’s panic. The new craze is flakka, which makes people super strong in addition to all the other boogeyman effects.

  8. Bath salts and flakka are both government experiments. Not the drugs themselves, mind you, but the use as an excuse. Obviously biological researchers continue to unleash (either accidentally or on purpose) a zombie virus into the population, and authorities are using this drug scare as a way of explaining away the horror that they’ve wrought.

    And we continue to eat it up so much delicious face flesh.

  9. Anything that lets them keep denying that it was a zombie……

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