A 34 year old Louisiana woman who decided it was safe to inject the synthetic LSD called bath salts has now lost her right arm, shoulder and part of her breast because of it. MSNBC reports that the woman developed necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) after she injected bath salts. The injection site on her arm became infected by streptococcus bacteria, which was eating away at her flesh and killing her muscles rapidly.

The woman went to the emergency room at Louisiana State University Sciences Center because of pain after injecting the bath salts into her arm two days prior. Bath salts contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone and can cause suicidal thoughts, paranoia, hallucinations and rapid heart rate. In Louisiana, the bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state’s poison center received more than 125 calls in the last three months of 2010 involving exposure to the chemicals.

Injecting Bath Salts is becoming a real issue

This is not the first time this problem has cropped up. Recently, cocaine was pinned for a number of flesh-eating disease outbreaks through Los Angeles and New York. Good Morning America reported that cocaine cut with the drug levamisole, a veterinary drug that is linked with the flesh-eating disease.

In this case, the doctors did not know what was causing the woman to have pain until the skin had become increasingly red, started to slough and drainage occurred. They tried to operate, but the infection was fast-moving: Tissue literally died in front of their eyes. They had no choice but to amputate.

Bath salts are a lot like methamphetamine but the Drug Enforcement Administration does not regulate these substances but they do scrutinize them. Dr. Russell Russo of Louisiana State University Sciences Center said, “Despite the drug’s legal status, it must be treated as illicit, and one must be suspicious when examining a patient with this clinical history because the diagnosis of flesh-eating bacteria can masquerade as abscesses and cellulitis.”

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