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Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Behind the cannibalism stories, a new and lethal drug

According to reader Sandra Klisham, we need less newspaper coverage about the Morgan State University student accused of cannibalism and more about the U.S. soldiers who are fighting and dying in Afghanistan ("Less cannibalism coverage," June 8). She couldn't be more wrong.

The reported episodes of cannibalism are just the tip of the iceberg in a society where a lot of people, including those in the military, are searching for the next best high. And It appears recent reports of cannibalism may not be isolated episodes.

It has come to light that bath salts and spice, two lethal, legally available drugs, may be behind some of these attacks. These drugs can be smoked or snorted and they are given seductive names like "Ivory Wave" or innocuous monikers like "bath salts" for deceptive marketing. They induce a furor in users, as violent as the combined effect of PCP and methamphetamines, and the result is an oral aggression of the sort that leads users to pounce on their victims and bite and maul them to pieces.

These drugs are sold in convenience stores and gas stations. They cannot be detected by routine drug screening tests. Hence, for those who want to get their high without getting caught, they are a boon. And they may also have penetrated our military.

The drugs are altered frequently so that it is hard to define them chemically and ban them all. They are more insidious than the most lethal drugs, and the government must move quickly to remove them from the shelves and punish those who market them.

Usha Nellore, Bel Air

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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