VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – This week, you may have heard a gruesome story out of Miami about police shooting and killing a man who was reportedly high on “bath salts” as he ate another man’s face.

News1130 is speaking with a local substance abuse expert who first heard about the mid-altering drug about two years ago.

“[It's] very toxic, not suitable for any form of human consumption for whatever purpose at all,” explains Tibor Palatinus with Narconon.

He tells us bath salts, a combination of of mephedrone and methylone, were originally created by kids trying to avoid marijuana detection in their blood or urine during drug tests.

“When the stuff is smoked, it’s a toxic substance, literally. It produces bizarre reactions at times. Sometimes, it’s severe anxiety. It sometimes sends people to the hospital with major respiratory problems,” describes Palatinus.

“If it’s a very toxic substance, the person will react as if [they are] being threatened. Adrenal glands will go crazy and that’s probably what we’re seeing with people who are smoking bath salts,” he adds.

Palatinus notes he hasn’t heard about bath salt use in Metro Vancouver. However, it has been seen in Ontario and said to be sweeping Nova Scotia.

Other street names for the drug include “purple wave,” “vanilla ski,” and “bliss.” Health Canada is said to be considering a move to add bath salts to its list of controlled drugs.