EXCLUSIVE: Bath Salts User Speaking Out, Warning Others of Effects

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Bath salts are in the news now more than ever, and they've made their way to the Basin.

A local man who used the drug is now speaking out about his experience, hoping to stop others from his mistake.

"The paranoia is just unbearable," Richard Taylor said. "I felt myself deteriorating and going into the psychosis."

Terrified and needing help, the recovering drug addict found himself relapsing on a $40 high.

"I went to an adult bookstore I heard was selling the bath salts," Taylor said.

It was Saturday, July 7th. Taylor had been on a bath salts binge inside the Sahara Motel in Odessa.

Taylor said he started feeling the effects of the bath salts as soon as he left the Sahara Motel. He said he ran all the way down 2nd St. screaming for help but nobody would help him.

That's when he ended up at Billy Sims Trailer Town and busted out the front door with his foot to get some attention.

"Officers knew that he was probably on something," Cpl. Sherrie Carruth, with the Odessa Police Dept., said.

Carruth said officers found Taylor bleeding heavily at the scene.

"He was being very combative, screaming at them telling them they weren't the real police," Carruth said.

Taylor remembers being taken to the ground. He said he burned the side of his face, stomach and leg on the hot pavement.

"In my mind, they were trying to kill me," Taylor said.

Paramedics took him to Medical Center Hospital where he was in critical care for four days.

Taylor said his episode on bath salts damaged his nervous system.

"They're telling me that it's done stuff to my arteries, they're caved in now," he said. "My eye socket has started deteriorating and it melts tissue. Since it is such a new drug, they don't know what the long term effects are."

Now he wants parents to know the warning signs.

"It don't say bath salts anymore, it says glass cleaner," Taylor said. "It comes in a deal that looks like an old carmex container but they're clear and they have a wrap around them."

Taylor is telling others to stay away.

"The craving is unbearable and the depression that you go in after you get off the detox, it puts you in such a bad place," he said.

Despite losing his job and his family, Taylor is hoping to turn his experience into a positive one.

Once he's fully recovered, Taylor wants to become a licensed drug counselor to keep others from going down a dark path.

"It is a disease," Taylor said. "I gotta be able to fix myself before I can help anybody else."

Taylor is facing a charge of criminal mischief for the damage he caused at that business.