Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Only a matter of time' before drug hits city

'Bath salts' linked to horrific attacks

  • Print

The horrifying new drug called bath salts that is said to have caused cannibalistic attacks has not yet hit Winnipeg streets, authorities say.

The RCMP and Winnipeg police have no reported cases of the drug in Manitoba, but Larry Larson, founder of the Recovery Centre for Addiction, Trauma and Families, says "it's only a matter of time.

"I assume it will become more prominent in Winnipeg because of the abundance of cocaine and crack cocaine use. I'm anticipating that it will start becoming a big problem," said Larson. "I wouldn't be surprised if it was already here."

The federal government is taking steps against the drug, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), despite the few reported incidents in Canada. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced plans on June 5 to make bath salts illegal in Canada.

MDPV is the active agent used in bath salts, a new street drug referred to as the "zombie drug." The drug is linked to a May 26 incident in Miami in which Rudy Eugene, 31, allegedly attacked Ronald Poppo, 65, and began ripping his face apart with his teeth and refused to stop. Eugene was shot and killed at the scene.

Another similar incident occurred when Louisiana man Carl Jacquneaux, 43, allegedly bit off a portion of neighbour Todd Credeur's face. Symptoms of the drug's use include violent behaviour, hallucinations and paranoia.

When asked if she was worried about bath salts ending up in Manitoba, St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover said, "I'm always worried."

Originally synthesized as a stimulant in 1964, bath salts are a white, powdery substance whose physical similarities to cocaine make it difficult to differentiate. Bath salts contain amphetamine-type stimulants and is said to be marketed as a form of ecstasy.

Aglukkaq said the government will list MDPV on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which categorizes the drug with heroin and cocaine. Regulating it will make possessing, trafficking, importation, exporting and producing the drug illegal unless authorized.

The drug is already illegal in the United States.

"Let's be clear. These are not typical household bath salts. They are not the Epsom salts or the scented crystals that you find in many Canadian homes and pharmacies," Aglukkaq told reporters. "These are drugs, serious drugs."

While bath salts have gone unreported in Manitoba, Glover said the threat cannot be ignored.

"It seems to have been something that we're hearing about more and more in Nova Scotia and Ontario," Glover, who made the announcement with Aglukkaq, told the Free Press.

"There have been a number of seizures from different substances and more than 100 of them contained this MDPV."

Health Canada announced it would regulate MDPV on June 9 in the Canada Gazette. The public has until July 10 to comment.

"We are always trying to stay one step ahead of these chemists of these drugs," Glover said.

"Organized crime is behind a lot of these drugs that make their way into our communities. We're always worried when we hear of a new drug. We're just trying to give police officers the tools they need to fight them."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 18, 2012 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg police comment on two officers that resuscitated baby

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think the punishment should be for Dustin Byfuglien's cross-check on New York Rangers forward J. T. Miller?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google