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Friday, November 8, 2019

Bath Salts and the Zombie Apocalypse

     The May 2012 "causeway cannibal" case in Miami involving the fatal police shooting of Rudy Eugene, the person who chewed off the face of a homeless man, ignited the morbid imagination of millions of people fascinated with zombies, cannibalism, and the specter of a "zombie apocalypse." The Rudy Eugene case increased awareness of the bath salt trend, and how designer drugs can make people dangerous. (See JFTC posting: "The Naked Flesh Eater: Police Kill Rudy Eugene.") Other  cases of cannibalistic behavior include the Texas woman who killed and ate part of her newborn baby, and the college student in Maryland who consumed part of a man's brain and heart.

     Zombies, the stars of horror movies, TV series ("The Walking Dead"), novels, and comic books, along with vampires, their more romantic, blood-sucking cousins, have worked their way into American culture. The term "zombie apocalypse" pertains to human-like creatures who rise from the dead, as the world is ending, to prey upon the living to replenish their brains and blood. In the wake of the causeway cannibal case in Miami, people wondered if the bath salt and synthetic marijuana epidemic was creating a class of zombie-like flesh eaters.

     Mind altering bath salts are not those crystallin household products people put in bath water. While in a few states the drug can still be purchased at convenience stores, gas stations, and head shops, these designer hallucinogenic powders are extremely toxic. Although the active ingredients in bath salts have been outlawed by congress, drug designers have been able to replace the banned chemicals with modified substances that are even worse.

     Besides giving the user an intense high, bath salts, like LSD, create bizarre hallucinations. And like PCP, Ecstasy, and crystal meth, they give users supernatural strength, and can turn them violent.

     So, could the abuse of bath salts and similar synthetic designer drugs turn people into flesh-eating zombies? No. While taking these toxic chemicals can make a stupid person even less bright, a crazy person crazier, and an otherwise nonviolent person dangerous, they do not give users a taste for human flesh. Bath salts are responsible for bizarre and violent behavior, but they don't turn people into cannibals.  


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  2. The Texas attack happened in 2009 - why is everyone linking it to the Miami attack??