A San Diego student was forced to drink his own urine after he was left in a police holding cell for five days without food, water or access to a toilet.
Daniel Chong, 24, said he was so desperate and confused by his ordeal that he bit into his glasses and tried to scratch "Sorry mom" into his arm after federal drug officers forgot about him, reported the U-T San Diego.
The 24-year-old University of California engineering student was arrested with eight others during a drug raid on 21 April in which 18,000 ecstasy pills were seized along with other drugs and weapons.
Chong said Drug Enforcement Administration agents told him he would be released after questioning, with one agent even offering to drive him home.
Instead he was returned to a holding cell and left there for five days. The cell was just 5ft x 10ft (1.5m x 3m) and had no windows.
Chong said he could hear muffled voices outside his cell and the door of the next cell being opened. He reportedly kicked and screamed to try to get the attention of the officers but failed.
He also lost electric light for several days, he said.
Chong said: "I had to recycle my own urine. I had to do what I had to do to survive."
In his confusion, Chong ate broken glass and ingested a white powder, later identified as methamphetamine, which was said to have been left in the cell by a previous occupant.
When warders finally realised he was still locked up, he was taken to hospital and treated for cramps, dehydration and a perforated lung - the result of ingesting the broken glass.
"When they opened the door, one of them said 'Here's the water you've been asking for,'" he said. "But I was pretty out of it at the time."
Chong was not charged with any crime.
His lawyer, Eugene Iredale, said he planned to file a claim against the federal government. San Diego defence attorney Gretchen Von Helms said the victim could get millions of dollars if he files a lawsuit, reported NBC.