Meet Bryan Lewis Saunders, an artist who's spent more than 10 years making self-portraits while on a variety of drugs.
Saunders took bath salts in March and drew a picture of himself. Bath salts are synthetic drugs that are causing nationwide panic as newspapers link the easily accessible substance to violent -- and sometimes fatal -- outbursts.
Heinous crimes have indeed been connected to bath salts. Earlier this month, Ronnie Lee Hardesty allegedly took a hammer to a church door and interrupted the congregation while high, and Brandon DeLeon took "Cloud 9" -- one variation of the drug -- before he tried to bite cops.
GALLERY: Saunders' Self-Portraits ON DRUGS
But Saunders, a peaceful man who claims he "doesn't do drugs," chalks all the bath salts attacks up to psychos going psycho. It's not going to turn the user into a face-biter, Saunders says, unless that person is predisposed to face-biting.
"It's a misconception that the drug causes these attacks -- it's crazy," Saunders told HuffPost Weird News. "Now, it's a terrible terrible drug to do. But bath salts in itself isn't evil."
So what does doing bath salts feel like? Saunders said he's only tried any given drug -- except for weed -- one time. But he said bath salts gave him the worst trip of all.
"It made me angry, ornery, just gave me a real vicious angst," he said. "It's like a dark cloud of doom settling on your shoulders. Your brain gets really clogged.
"You just want it to end -- I'd never ever do it again," he added.
Saunders started his "Drugs" self-portrait project in 2001, because of the "accessibility" of drugs back then. It's part of a broader series of self-portraiture, in which he's drawn nearly 9,000 pictures of himself.
As for "Drugs," Saunders says he'll continue to do the portraits as new substances come to him. There are a few he hasn't tried, like heroin and crack.
"I'd love to do a self-portrait on crack," he said. "I've never done it. It seems a shame there's no crack self-portrait. But I'm not gonna go out looking for a crack rock."
MORE OF SAUNDERS' WORK
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