Tempe police say they’ve increased their watch for people who may be under the influence of bath salts, an easily ingestible designer drug that can lead to violent behavior.
Bath salts were banned for sale in Arizona earlier this year after reports of severe reactions among users around the country, including a bizarre case of cannibalism involving a homeless man in Florida.
In traditional use, the term bath salts refers to a range of water-soluble, usually inorganic solid products designed to be added to a bath. They are said to improve cleaning, improve the experience of bathing, and serve as a vehicle for cosmetic agents.
Locally, Tempe police early this month responded to an area south of Guadalupe Road following reports of a man running nude through the neighborhood, jumping fences and throwing himself against walls.
Officers took him into custody, after which he was hospitalized and later arrested on two counts of trespassing.
Sgt. Jeffrey Glover, a Tempe police spokesman, said incidents like this represent concern not only for the department but for the community.
“The irrational behavior commonly displayed by subjects under the influence of bath salts can lead to violent results, including severe paranoia, anxious and eratic behavior with potential for hallucinations, violence and self-mutilation,” said Glover.
Residents who encounter someone exhibiting any of the characteristic symptoms, and thus possibly being under the influence of bath salts, are asked to notify their local law enforcement agency.