Spin's Natasha Vargas-Cooper had clearly been working on her feature about bath salts before the drug found itself at the center of intense national interest with the case of the so-called Miami zombie, but her fascinating and lengthy story will get some more attention with all the headlines about the horror drug. Vargas-Cooper (who's also written for The Atlantic) takes readers on a trans-continental journey to meet users, cops, chemists, and the family members of one person who died from these quasi-legal drugs. Along the way, she paints a picture of a drug scene with much more subtlety than the tabloid tales of the Miami "cannibal" and fatal tasings, especially in her description of an afternoon spent with two users who score some bath salts with their panhandling money. Nobody goes crazy, but it still doesn't sound very fun:

"I hope this wears off soon," Deanna says a little timidly, sounding almost embarrassed. She tells me she hates doing anything that isn't heroin, and won't even touch weed because it makes her so paranoid. I ask her how she feels now.

"You know," she says, "like I do whenever I shoot something into my veins. I hate myself."

Vargas-Cooper's whole story can be found in Spin.