Addiction, Society And The Zombie Apocalypse
Recently in the news there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the designer drug referred to as “bath salts”. No, these do not refer to actual ‘lie in the tub and bask in lavender' bath salts. They instead refer to a concoction of amphetamine type stimulants including MDPV. Bath Salts are a white powder drug that contains MDPV and other ingredients and are known to cause hallucinations, paranoia and violent behavior.
The recent news surrounding bath salts is fueled by a horrific attack on a homeless man. The word zombie was used to describe the trance-like state the attacker was in and the fact that even though shot multiple times he still continued to maul and chew his victims face, after growling at police. These are clearly the symptoms of a drug induced person, the ability to bite off someones flesh, inability to feel or be stopped by pain, and fiercely growling while attacking his victim. Whatever name they want to call it, whether it be Miami Zombie or the Causeway Cannibal, the behavior and the attack are so out of the norm when it comes to human interaction and social mores that it can only be comprehended and described as zombie like.
There is a common denominator among the victim and the attacker as well as the other incidences of “zombie like” behavior. These include the man who cut his own entrails out and threw them at police as well as the most recent bath salt fueled incident in Miami. That being Brandon DeLeon, a 22 year old homeless man head banging and threatening to eat police officers after being arrested for disorderly conduct outside of a Boston Market. Drugs and alcohol have played their part in all of these incidences. It is believed that Rudy Eugene was high on bath salts the day he attacked Ronald Poppo, however, it is still speculation as it can take weeks for a toxicity screen to come back. The New Jersey man who cut out his intestines and threw them at police officers was under the influence of bath salts as well as Brandon DeLeon. Since reports came out about the attack in Miami, many people wanted to know more about Ronald Poppo. Poppo's high school years lead many to believe he was going to have a successful life. Could alcoholism have played a role in his life choices and the path he took that placed him there on that fateful day?
Yes, these are terrible happenings, and drugs are playing a huge factor. However, so is society, where is the regulation that should come with street drugs, where is the common sense and the education regarding these home grown chemicals. It is important that we as a society educate people on the destruction of these street drugs. Just because some of them are legal and sold at your local convenient doesn't mean they are safe. Until society, government offices, and medical professionals take theses events seriously and find ways to prevent the sale and abuse of bath salts and other synthetic drugs, we are going to see a lot more addiction zombie incidents in the news and in our communities.
Zombies are abound in pop culture today, which is why they have been referenced to these episodes. The horror and gore that describes these recent incidents can only be described in other world terms. So, by attributing zombie characteristics to certain humans and their behavior it helps society as a whole deal with the drama while also staying as far away from it as possible. This is dangerous; people will label these specific incidences as zombie behavior and will not think twice before they themselves snort, smoke, or inject synthetic drugs, like bath salts and spice. Brandon DeLeon himself stated he did not remember anything, and if Rudy Eugene could answer questions, he probably could not account for his behavior either. People need to take heed and not just simply cast these happenings to the realm of zombies.
Humor is a human defense mechanism for coping with intense emotions or situations. This is another reason why the “Zombie Apocalypse” has garnered the attention that it has. It is much easier to laugh and joke about such horrific incidents than it is to mull over the details and the atrocity of the acts.There are serious risks associated with the use of these synthetic drugs and since this is relatively a new trend we need to keep talking about it, keep sharing with others the seriousness of these substances. Bath salts may not be going away anytime soon, but if the buyers stop purchasing their products wont have the chance to destroy lives.