Bryan Saunders Does Self-Portraits On Drugs, Reveals What Taking Bath Salts Feels Like (PHOTOS)

Bath Salts

First Posted: 10/23/12 EDT Updated: 10/24/12 EDT

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

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  • 1 Bump Of Crystal Meth

  • Bath Salts

  • 1:2gm Cocaine

  • 4mg Dilaudid

  • 10mg Adderall

  • 10mg Lortab

  • 15mg Buspar (snorted)

  • 90 mg Abilify

  • 100mg Trazadone

  • A lot

  • Abilify, Klonopin

  • Ablify, Xanax, Ativan,

  • Absinthe

  • Ambien

  • Butalbital

  • Butane Honey Oil

  • Cephalexin

  • Computer Duster

  • Cough Syrup

  • DMT

  • g13

  • Geodon 60mg

  • Haloperidol & Ativan

  • Hash

  • Huffing gas

  • Kinebud

  • Lighter fluid

  • Loritab

  • Morphine & Dilaudid

  • Mushrooms

  • Nicotine Gum

  • Nitrous

  • PCP

  • Percocet

  • Pot brownies

  • Pruno

  • Resin

  • Risperdal

  • Risperdol 2

  • Ritilin

  • Salvia 2

  • Seroquel

  • SOMA

  • Valium IV, (Albuterol, Saline & Oxygen) mixture

  • Valium

  • Valium IV in the hospital

  • Xanax

  • Zoloft

  • Zyprexa

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."

"Near Death Experience" by Bryan Lewis Saunders & Spastic Dementia from Bryan Lewis Saunders on Vimeo.