What would possess a woman who had just given birth to smoke bath salts? I suppose I should ask Carla Murphy, who did just that, then stripped off her clothes, tried to bite a cop, and assaulted a nurse before being handcuffed and arrested. An injection of the anti-psychotic Haldol had no effect on the intoxicated new mom. What is going on here?
The “designer drug” is made of synthetic cathinones such as mephedrone (popular in the UK) and methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV, (more popular in the U.S.), and produces a stimulant effect, similar to amphetamine and cocaine. Alarmingly, news reports are claiming it causes psychosis and violent behavior, including cannibalism or expressing the desire to bite and eat humans.
MDPV was first created in 1969 but was not sold until 2004, and mephedrone was first synthesized in 1929 but was not available for purchase until about 2007. I’m curious to know if, besides the never ending need to find legal mind-altering substances, there is a reason that these drugs emerged for sale at these times.
From product to product, the chemical compositions can vary widely, and products with the same name can contain different compounds. “Designer drugs” are created using substances that have yet to be made illegal. Because they are so new, little is known about the drugs and their long-term effects, making them more dangerous . As soon as one “designer drug” is outlawed, another compound emerges to take its place, perpetuating a vicious cycle of dangerous substances seeping into society. I wonder if there may be a smaller market for such risky legal highs if drugs were decriminalized, or even legalized.
How can people be this desperate to get high? Why are people taking such chances? We’re all familiar with the idea of being an experimental teenager smoking marijuana or drinking a beer, but taking a drug that is known to make people violent with cannibalistic tendencies, generally after stripping off all of their clothing, is unfathomable to me. Perhaps we are seeing all of these naked zombie stories in the media because the bath salt use is out of control and has our “rulers” in fear. Is this is an attempt to grasp hold of the problem before it becomes a true epidemic?
Florida Republican Rep Sandy Adams, who helped push Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011, which would federally ban MDPV and morphedrone, said to U.S. News and World Report, “Looking at the Miami incident, we’ve seen people do some very bizarre acts on bath salts.” He made his statement before an autopsy of the attacker, Rudy Eugene, had been completed. We now know that the Miami Cannibal had no bath salt compounds in his body at the time of the attack.
So what is really the driving factor behind the propaganda and bill? Money of course. The bigger the “war on drugs,” the bigger the budget given to cities to fight it. The more offenders, the more people paying for probation or locked up in jails (remember, private prison contracts can mandate that you keep prisons at a certain capacity, like 90 %).
The UK has already banned the substances, and in the months following the ruling, the price of bath salts rose, and harm increased because the product was no longer sold by retailers, but instead peddled by unregulated street dealers. Some people will be compelled to try the drug just because of the news reports, and when they find they don’t turn into a flesh-eating zombie, how serious will they take the warnings? Wouldn’t these exaggerations undermine the real risks, setting the stage for overdoses because someone is expecting a more intense high? We have to be honest about substances. While I have no doubt that bath salts are dangerous, I don’t think most users get high and then try to eat people. We’ve made a similar mistake by putting marijuana in the same drug class as heroin, but people don’t die trying to inject marijuana into their veins. This ridiculous hype is doing harm.
In ‘Bath salts’ suspected in nationwide naked crime wave at RawStory.com, there is a list of recent naked “zombie” incidents that have received media attention (note: the June 23 “zombie” was NOT naked, as stated in the excerpt below):
- June 5: Broward County, Florida woman blocks intersection, exposing her vagina, breasts and buttocks.
- June 11: Naked Miami man tells 3-year-old girl, “Hi pretty girl, I want to stick it in you.”
- June 12: Naked woman from Munnsville, New York punches kids and strangles dog.
- June 14: Half-naked Georgia man threatens to eat police at golf driving range.
- June 15: Texas woman crashes car, strips and eats ice cream in Houston.
- June 16: Naked Illinois man surfs on car hood.
- June 17: Naked woman fights with hospital staff in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
- June 20: Miami man breaks into house, strips naked, throws furniture and bites man.
- June 20: Police in Phoenix, Arizona fish a naked man out of Tempe Town Lake where he had been illegally swimming for an hour.
- June 23: Naked woman in Utica, New York tries to eat a cop.
- June 26: Naked man in Calgary, Canada found smashing his head on a fence.
- June 29: Naked Scottsdale, Arizona carjacking suspect causes multiple accidents and then crawls on car roof and sings.
- July 1: Venice, California man dry humps the air while completely nude.
- July 4: Man wearing no pants crashes moving truck into Phoenix house.
Watch this video from Fox 10 Phoenix, broadcast July 5, 2012.
“A zombie theme park could help save the city of Detroit, say the brains behind Z World Detroit. Mmm… Brraaaiiinnnsss….”