Police and doctors are reportedly blaming "bath salts" for the bizarre, grisly behavior of Rudy Eugene, who began devouring Ronald Poppo's face last weekend.
We're not talking garden-variety aromatherapy products here, though.
The term "bath salts" can also be used to describe illegal, designer street drugs that have been linked to violent delusions and even death, investigators say.
Either the zombie apocalypse is nigh, or Eugene was on something strong enough to prompt a psychotic, gruesome meltdown that seems incomprehensible.
Police were forced to shoot Rudy Eugene when he refused to stop eating Poppo's face; He growled at them, naked, and resumed feasting before being killed.
It took multiple gunshots to take him down. Ronald Poppo is a homeless man with no known connection to Eugene and is in critical condition at a hospital.
Bath salts were also blamed in another Florida incident in which a man overdosed on the drug and died. Similar cases may prompt stronger DEA action.
The DEA banned chemicals commonly used in bath salts: mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone. Sale of these items now results in federal drug charges.
At least 38 states have enacted bath-salt bans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, instituting penalties for possession and trafficking.
Of course, because bath salts are made by "street chemists," there's really no way to know what chemicals are actually contained in any given quantity.
There's also no medical test to detect bath salts in a patient. "The only way we know if someone has taken them is if they tell you," one expert said.