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Stop ‘bath salts’
Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, commonly referred to as “bath salts,” is a dangerous synthetic drug that causes drug-induced psychosis. It has been linked to the May 26 assault in Miami where Rudy Eugene, who had stripped naked after overheating on the drug, ate the face off of Ronald Poppo, a homeless man known to be insane. Eugene continued his assault even after being shot by a law enforcement officer who was flagged down by a witness. Eugene was subsequently shot and killed.
There is a growing concern that this drug elicits violent behavior. Recreational drugs affect people differently. Normal people, unlike Eugene, don’t eat other people. The typical reported experience is something like a cocaine or amphetamine high. Chemically it acts as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, meaning that it increases the concentration of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is synthesized from Norepinephrine, which is in turn synthesized from Dopamine.
People who use drugs like this appear to have superhuman strength mainly due to the excessive chemical imbalance in their brain as a result of using the drug. The attacker in Miami took so much that his body got so hot he took his clothes off. It has been reported that a person using this drug like Eugene could have a body temperature of up to 108 degrees. That’s normally fatal in most conditions.
A key argument against legalizing marijuana is that it will be a gateway to harder drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and, more recently, bath salts; only a minority of people who smoke marijuana ever move on to harder drugs. Proponents of the recreational use of marijuana argue that smoking a naturally occurring plant has little to none to do with their decision to try something new. To them it’s always a small minority of people who make it worse for them; as the old saying goes, a spoiled apple spoils the bunch. And then there are the people who are addicted to bath salts who see nothing wrong with using a dangerous drug whose effects are still widely unknown.
In light of the cannibalistic assault, people will assume that bath salts will turn people into flesh-eating zombies in the same way that they think violent video games turns people into cold blooded psychopaths. This is a single drug-crazed individual.
Mayor Bloomberg in NYC is proposing a tax on soft drinks to combat obesity. He argues that taxing sugary drinks will deter people from consuming what he deems is unhealthy. New taxes will not have a profound impact on obesity. People will still drink their favorite sodas. In this case, education will have a bigger impact on obesity.
Banning drugs like bath salts will only intensify illegal activity in a way similar to Prohibition and the Controlled Substances Act has had on organized crime. Bath salts are still gaining momentum among the youth. This dangerous trend could possibly lead to hauntingly detrimental effects on society.