A man died in Bangor, Maine last week after telling police he was high on the new hallucinogenic designer drug known as “bath salts.”

Ralph Willis, according to the Associated Press, had been running around the streets of Bangor, yelling and screaming at people on Friday night. When police arrived, he charged at them, fought them, broke an antenna off a police cruiser, and smashed a rear car window before running into a truck that was leaving a nearby funeral home.

As he was being arrested and taken to the city jail, he admitted he had been using the drug.

A short time later, he was taken by ambulance to Eastern Main Medical where he suddenly died.

The official cause of death is pending an autopsy.

“Bath salts” have nothing in common with the things you put into your bathtub. Bath salts are most commonly the chemical methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. The drug causes extreme agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, high blood pressure, and has been linked to sudden suicide. Users snort it, shoot it or mix it with food or drink.

Little is known except that the drug appears extremely dangerous.

It is illegal in the UK, but the US government has not caught up yet. Only Florida and Louisiana recognize MDPV as a scheduled drug and only a handful of states ban some of the ingredients used to make it.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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