Tag Archives: Ronald Poppo

Strange Highs

-Sam Bouchat

An odd and disturbing story has been floating around the news and internet, prompting grimaces, PG-13 gossip, and zombie-outbreak fears.

It happened in Florida—a man later called the “Causeway Cannibal” was seen, naked, lying on a Miami causeway with another naked man. Police arrived to the scene to witness 31-year-old Rudy Eugene gnawing on the face of his companion. When told multiple times by police to stop, and refusing to do so while providing only a short growl in the officers’ direction, police were forced to fatally shoot Eugene to get him to cease his ministrations.

The victim, 65-year-old homeless man Ronald Poppo survived. According to Wink News, a Florida news network, he was hospitalized “with severe injuries, with his nose, mouth, and eyes torn off his face.”

Doctors later suggested that both men were under the influence of a new drug: bath salts. Bath salts, termed that way because they can actually be purchased in many gift shops as bathroom accessories, are designer street drugs, mainly methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). They can be picked up in small shops all around the U.S. as bath salts, labeled “not for human consumption.” For this reason, they are not outright illegal.

How was it discovered that they make you paranoid, hot, and prone to severe and violent hallucinations if consumed or snorted? No idea. But we’ve seen in the past that humans are nothing if not disturbingly creative when it comes to getting high.

Remember the hand sanitizer epidemic? Kids were supposedly ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizing gels in an attempt to get buzzed. It gained media attention after six Southern California teenagers were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning last April. And that’s not even the weirdest of it.

It’s one thing to show stuff into your mouth to try to get high. Hell, people even crush stuff up and snort it into their noses. But I for one thought the eyeball was off-limits. How wrong I was.

Three words: Vodka Eyeball Shots. They exists, and they’re happening. Young people are taking shots of vodka and slamming them into their eyes in an attempt to absorb the alcohol faster, falsely believing that the membrane of the eye has the ability to absorb alcohol and get one drunk. According to USA Today, not only does doing this NOT get you drunk, it can also cause severe and permanent damage to the eye.

But all this is nothing new. Glue, aerosol cans, magic markers, toads—it seems nothing is off limits when it comes to the human attempt to get wasted, if the many, many videos of people trying these things out on Youtube is anything to go by. What I wonder is how these trends even start.