Bath Salts Confiscated and Child Abuse Charges Brought Against 3 in NC

DEA Photo

Three people were taken into police custody and arrested on drug charges for possessing a drug, known by the media as "the zombie drug" or simply "zombie", called mephedrone. Mephedrone is also called "bath salts" and is a toiletry product sold in fragrance shops. It is also being used on the streets to get high.
DEA Photo: Mephedrone confiscated in Oregon via Wikimedia Commons Images.

The three were busted on Hatteras Island in North Carolina, according to WNCN, a local news outlet in the Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville area. A task force investing narcotics made the bust in October, according to the report details.

The arrest was made at a traffic stop and a child was found on the floorboard of the vehicle. Child abuse charges were also filed. Isaiah Shaffer, 20, Justin Moore, 24, and Linda Deem, 42, all face charges of possessing the mephedrone substance known as bath salts.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, bath salts belong in a category of drugs called synthetic cathinones. These cathinones are similar to amphetamines and are found in a plant called khat, which is abused in parts of African and the Middle East, particularly in Somalia. The agency reports that severe intoxication from these substances has created a public health problem in the United States.

Bath salts can give users a great sense of euphoria and increased social activity and sexual appetite. However, many other users experience paranoia, agitation, and according to the federal agency: "hallucinatory delirium". The agency also noted that some users get extremely psychotic or violent. Deaths have been reported in several instances. News reports from Florida and other parts of the country have been shown on CNN and other major outlets after stories of users biting people like a zombie (hence the nickname) surfaced in local media.