The 5 Best Drug Scares of 2012

Meth babies, deadly energy drinks, fake pot, higher schools, and the drug that makes you eat people's faces

(Page 5 of 5)

1. Face-Saving Drug Ban

For a month last summer, major news outlets accepted and propagated the idea that synthetic stimulants sold as "bath salts" were responsible for a grisly attack in which one man chewed off most of another's face on Miami's MacArthur Causeway. The story gave us classic headlines like "Bath Salts, Drug Alleged 'Face-Chewer' Rudy Eugene May Have Been On, Plague Police and Doctors" (CBS News) and "New 'Bath Salts' Zombie-Drug Makes Americans Eat Each Other" (Russia Today).

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) jumped on the story like Rudy Eugene (above left) did on poor old Ronald Poppo. "When they learn about this face-chewing situation in Florida," Dent  told Roll Call in early June, "hopefully that will change a few minds." Dent was referring to the debate over his proposed ban on stimulants used in "bath salts." Apparently he got his wish, because a few weeks later Congress approved the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, which bans two of those substances, MDPV and mephedrone. On the very same day, toxicological tests revealed that Eugene, a.k.a. the Causeway Cannibal and the Miami Zombie, had not consumed "bath salts" after all.

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    Predict the Drug Scare of 2013:

    1. Adderall
    2. Caffeine
    3. Tylenol
    4. Opioids
    5. Anxiolytics

    And my bonus, wild-card predictions: Video games/gun fanaticism.

  • ||

    Already started: prescription painkillers (continued from previous years). The local morning news did a whole thingamabob on the "epidemic" this a.m.

  • flye||

    6. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup

    Did you know that candy is available from vending machines? And that minors can buy soda without parental permission? If you're not outraged you're not paying attention.

  • anon||

    Damnit, if you put alcohol at #1 and move the rest down a notch you have my list of favorite drugs in order.

  • Ryan60657||

    "butt chugging" doesn't make the list?

  • Libertarius||

    The obozo regime has released a revised, improved version of Reefer Madness wherein it becomes abundantly clear that pot makes you believe in individualism and laissez-faire capitalism.

  • SIV||

    The researchers, led by Brown University psychologist Linda LaGasse, claimed to have identified “an important public health problem” that could “place tremendous burdens on society” based on small differences in test scores that may not even have been caused by meth exposure.

    I bet that test score gap could be closed with Desoxyn

  • R C Dean||

    So now test scores are a "public health" issue?

  • SIV||

    What isn't? There is no sphere of human activity the government can't justify banning,controlling,regulating in the name of "public health".

  • Number 2||

    "Last May the Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America) announced that "heavy marijuana use" by teenagers was "up 80 percent since 2008.""

    As a general rule, any scare headline that talks about a percentage change without telling you the underlying raw numbers is useless.

  • ||

    It seems a bit glib to make light of prenatal drug exposure. Believe it or not, despite the substantial benefits of methamphetamine and cocaine use in adults, it really can have negative effects on a fetus -- it's not just a conspiracy of the scientists with the newspaper publishers to sell more stories. Although obviously the article is referring to the overblown headline, you don't want to shoot your credibility in the foot by becoming a cheerleader for prenatal exposure to illicit drugs. It comes off bad enough when you cheer drug abuse by adults. Wanting something legalized doesn't necessarily mean you have to endorse it personally.

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