Tag Archives: illegal drugs

Zombie drug ban

People are inventing so many new, legal ways to get high that U.S. lawmakers can’t seem to keep up.

Over the past two years, the country has seen a surge in the use of synthetic drugs made of legal chemicals that mimic the dangerous effects of cocaine, amphetamines and other illegal stimulants. Some are imported cheaply from China or India.

The drug that causes Zombie like reactions is often sold at small, independent stores in misleading packaging that suggests common household items like bath salts, incense and plant food. But the substances inside are powerful, mind-altering drugs that have been linked to bizarre and violent behaviour across the country. Law enforcement officials refer to the drugs collectively as “bath salts,” though they have nothing in common with the fragrant toiletries used to moisturize skin.

President Barack Obama signed a bill into law earlier this month that bans the sale, production and possession of more than two dozen of the most common bath salt drugs. But health professionals say that there are so many different varieties of the drugs that U.S. lawmakers are merely playing catch up.

“The moment you start to regulate one of them, they’ll come out with a variant that sometimes is even more potent,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

There are no back alleys or crack houses in America’s latest drug epidemic. The problem involves potent substances that amateur chemists make, package and sell in stores under brands like “Ivory Wave,” ”Vanilla Sky” and “Bliss” for as little as $15.

Emergencies related to the drugs have surged. The American Association of Poison Control Centers received more than 6,100 calls about bath salt drugs in 2011, up from just 304 the year before, and more than 1,700 calls in the first half of 2012.

The problem for lawmakers is that it’s difficult to crack down on the drugs. U.S. laws prohibit the sale or possession of all substances that mimic illegal drugs, but only if federal prosecutors can show that they are intended for human use. People who make bath salts and similar drugs work around this by printing “not for human consumption” on virtually every packet.

Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency, said the intended use for bath salts is clear.

“Everyone knows these are drugs to get high, including the sellers,” she said.

Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, says there are so many different drugs out there that it’s almost impossible to know what people have ingested, or how long the effects will last.

“Cocaine is cocaine and meth is meth. We know what these things do,” he said. “But with these new drugs, every time the chemist alters the chemical structure, all bets are off.”

The most common bath salt drugs, like MDPV and mephedrone, were first developed in pharmaceutical research laboratories, though they were never approved for medical use. During the last decade they became popular as party drugs at European raves and dance clubs. As law enforcement began cracking down on the problem there, the drugs spread across the Atlantic.

Poison control centres in the U.S. began tracking use of the drugs in 2010. The majority of the early reports of drug use were clustered in southern states like Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. But the problem soon spread across the country.

The most dangerous synthetic drugs are stimulants that affect levels of both dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals that affect mood and perception. Users, who typically smoke or snort the powder-based drugs, may experience a surge in energy, fever and delusions of invincibility.

ZOMBIE OUTBREAK – Zombie’ attacks continue? Jeremiah Aaron Haughee, in naked rampage, bites man’s stomach, police say

A1_20120711093626_JPGST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – St. Augustine Police arrested a man Saturday after residents of a home found him naked on their roof in a violent rampage, First Coast News reports.

Officers responded to the scene on Palmetto Avenue a little before 4:30 a.m. to find two men restraining Jeremiah Aaron Haughee, 22, in a puddle of urine and glass, according to the report.

During the fight, Haughee jumped from the roof and bit the homeowner in the stomach, according to First Coast News.

The report states, “the bite was so severe, it will leave the man permanently disfigured.”

According to a Daily Mail report, officers called for backup to put leg shackles on Haughee. They used a spit hood, handcuffs and a stun gun, but Haughee reportedly continued to fight.

Haughee then moved the handcuffs from behind his back to in front of him, all while kicking one of the police officers, First Coast News reports.

After using a stun gun on Haughee five times, he was taken to Flagler Hospital and given Ketamine, according to the Daily Mail .

Haughee was booked into the St. Johns County Jail on five counts of battery – three against a police officer, First Coast News reports.

The homeowners told police they woke up to Haughee destroying their garden furniture and did not know him. He jumped from their roof onto their truck and dented its hood, leaving $1,500 worth of damage, the Daily Mail reports.

According to First Coast News , because there is no statute for being under the influence of illegal drugs, Haughee is not being tested to see if he was under the influence of any substances.