EDISON - Authorities say that the horrific face-mauling attack in Miami, where a man high on drugs chewed another man?s face off, was because the man had allegedly ingested so-called bath salts.

While the drug is banned in New Jersey and New York, it is legal in other states, where it's sold in shiny packages under brand names. It can be as easy to obtain as aspirin, and can be smoked, snorted or injected.

News 12 New Jersey spoke to local expert Ellen Ellias Rocca, who explained that the synthetic drug, which is made in illicit labs or homes, increases heart rate, raises respiration and can create paranoia, violence and hallucinations.

The U.S. Senate passed a federal ban on bath salts yesterday, closing loopholes that allowed manufacturers to get around local and state bans.

It now goes to the House for a vote and is expected to get President Barack Obama's approval by July 4. To watch an interview with Rocca on the effects of ingesting bath salts, click iO Extra on Channel 612.