People seem to be doing a lot of people-eating lately. There’s Rudy Eugene, the Miami “zombie,” Alex Kinyua, Maryland’s own roommate-cannibal, and now Brandon DeLeon, another Miami man who tried to “bite a police officer’s hand off.”
Urban America is certainly no stranger to violence, but the whole consumption-of-human-flesh thing seems to have struck a chord with the nation. The big question is why — why eat a homeless man’s face off? Why threaten police with “I’m going to eat you”?
One of the answers may be found in synthetic drugs, which have become increasingly prevalent among urban males, and which police believe were involved in both the Miami attacks, as well as a number of other violent incidents. You might’ve seen the term “bath salts” thrown around on the Internet recently, in connection with some of the bizarre violence that’s been going on. Bath salts are a class of synthetic, or “designer” drugs made from a bunch of different chemicals (particularly mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone), and they’re scary as all get out.
Bath salts are high in MDPV, which has been described as a combination of “synthetic methamphetamine and cocaine.” Meth releases dopamine, which makes you feel really good, and one of cocaine’s functions is to block dopamine reuptake – so on MDPV you get a dopamine high and can’t come down till the drug is out of your system. In addition to feeling good, though, MDPV also causes just about every awful side-effect you can think of, including (but definitely not limited to) psychotic delusions, suicidal thoughts and actions, and anxiety leading to violent behavior, i.e. face-eating. Oh, and flesh-eating bacteria.
This from Yahoo! News: “The number of calls to poison centers concerning ‘bath salts’ rose 6,138 in 2011 from 304 in 2010, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. More than 1,000 calls have been made so far this year.”
So why don’t we just outlaw bath salts and stop worrying about all these violent, naked men? Well, there are some pretty significant hurdles. First, bath salts aren’t actually called “bath salts” – they go by many names, like “Purple Wave” and “Cloud Nine.” And you can get the same high from many different chemical combinations, so designers can quickly find loopholes in drug regulations to keep their products on the market. You take a little methylone out of Cloud Nine, add some caffeine, call it “herbal incense” and it’s legal again. Second, nobody has been able to come up with an accurate drug test for it yet, so the only way to target the stuff is by finding people who admit to having used it.
(Click here for an informative piece on these synthetic drugs.)
Six months ago the government issued a ban on mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone in an attempt to get synthetic drugs off the market, but they seem to keep popping up. Even if we aren’t facing the apocalypse plague everyone on 4chan seems to be waiting for, we’re dealing with a dangerous strain of synthetic drugs and a lot of idiots excited to use them. Sometimes you almost wish it were as simple as zombies.