Teenage Recreation Gone Astray

On Saturday May 26th Ronald Poppo, an innocent homeless man, was victim to a bloody assault in which 31-year-old Rudy Eugene chewed off a large portion of Poppo’s face. Many have suspected that this cannibalistic attack was the start of a zombie apocalypse, but doctors have confirmed that Eugene was high on a synthetic drug known as bath salts.

Witnesses and police saw Eugene, naked, eating Poppo’s face. When police asked Eugene to stop, he only growled. They shot him multiple times before he finally responded to the bullets and died. Poppo’s face is now mostly gone and he is currently fighting for his life in the hospital.

Reports have indicated that the drug, bath salts, causes the user to feel like they are burning up from the inside resulting in them taking off their clothes. They suddenly feel as though they have super human strength and become extremely violent, which is exactly what happened with Eugene.

Bath salts have recently become a new trend amongst teenagers as a way to get high. They have found that the synthetic chemicals contained in bath salts cause an effect that mimics cocaine and methamphetamine. It results in increased heart rate, dizziness, panic attacks, nausea, nosebleeds, and hallucinations.

The popularity of the drug has escalated over the past two years. While in 2009 there were no calls made to the Poison Control Center related to bath salts, in 2011, there were over 6,000.

The growing commonality of using bath salts as a recreational drug has led many to think, how far are teenagers willing to go just to get high? It brings to mind the recent epidemic of teenagers using hand sanitizer to get drunk. Our society has painted a picture that getting drunk and high is “fun” and “just what teenagers do” to the point where those who can’t get the real thing are finding all the substitutions they can, no matter the consequences.

Abuse of common household products is not a new phenomenon. Uses of mouthwash and cough syrup to achieve the same effect have been common trends amongst teenagers in the past. Teens can be tempted to experiment with over-the-counter products because they are easy to access. They may feel like it’s “safer” because they aren’t actually the real thing.

But this state of mind can only lead teenagers down a dangerous road. As careless and naïve as they are, some teenagers do not think twice about the cost of their actions when it comes to “having fun”. Since it is easy to keep such activities a secret from their parents, it becomes easier to engage in them.

It would be absolutely impossible to keep teenagers away from any sort of product that could potentially give them a high, therefore this is not a realistic solution. The only thing that can be done is to educate teens on the dangers of engaging in such activities and hope that they can make the right decision for themselves.

The fact that teenagers in our society these days feel that these are the types of things they need to do to have fun is downright awful, and all we can do is hope that as time goes on, they will realize this themselves.

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