Rudy Eugene (L) and Ronald Poppo are seen in this combination of undated handout photos released by the Miami-Dade Police Department May 30, 2012. Eugene was fatally shot by police after he refused to stop gnawing on Poppo's face and may have been under the influence of a new form of the 1960s hallucinatory drug LSD, a top police officer said on Wednesday. (Photo : REUTERS/Miami-Dade Police Depa)
After Rudy Eugene chewed on Ronald Poppo's face a few weeks ago, the majority of the spotlight turned to this new zombie craze. Eugene became known as the infamous "Miami Zombie" and Poppo, a homeless man prior to the attack, garnered the attention of the entire nation which awaits his recovery. However, numerous pieces did not fit the puzzle. Why would Eugene, apparently a well-meaning person who never did anyone harm and read his Bible, turn into a blood-eater intent on chewing off another's face even as he was fired on by police numerous times?
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The main culprit of the attack seems to be a recreational drug known as "Bath salts." "Bath salts" has been blamed, but has gone relatively unperceived throughout the coverage.
What are "bath salts?" According to Hypervocal.com, the drug "refers to two particular substances, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which are psychoactive drugs." The key ingredient of the drugs is cathinone, which is similar to amphetamines and causes the release of dopamine in the brain.
A study published in the scientific journal Neuropsychopharmacology compared Mephedrone, which is one of the two types of bath salts, to ecstasy (MDMA). The results showed that the two drugs' side effects were very similar as both acted as substrates, or binding agents, for enzymes in the brain that release dopamine and serotonin. Both drugs were also found to be similarly potent. According to Hypervocal.com, "the study also found that bath salts are a far weaker motor stimulant than ecstasy, resulting in fewer physical side effects."
According to WTOP.com, the drugs are usually snorted, injected, or taken orally by most people. In many cases, they are employed as a cocaine substitute. The drugs are mainly sold online and typically sell for $25 to $50 for a 50-milligram packet.
According to Reuters, the Drug Enforcement Administration placed a ban on the chemicals commonly used to make bath salts in 2011. Additionally, at least 38 states have enacted bath-salt bans.
Despite the attribution of "Bath Salts" to Eugene's behavior in the Miami Zombie Case, an autopsy of the assailant showed an unidentified pill in his stomach. Forensics will take weeks to discover what these pills are and how they contributed to Eugene's behavior.