As the “Zombie Apocalypse” epidemic of bath salts abusers who strip down, growl and rip off people’s faces ravages across the country, authorities are scrambling to control the distribution of the innocuously named but powerful and dangerous syhnthetic drug that until recently was legal and easily sold in many states.
The early May raid of the “Stash House,” in Oneida, N.Y., one of three shops from which police seized $56,000 worth of syntethic drugs, is one of those instances. But, as authorities scramble to identify and then ban the synthetic (and legal) drugs that are being abused across the country, both manufacturers and users are trying with similar substances which are still legal, cheap and easy to distribute -- such as glass cleaner -- but that allegedly produce the same horrid effects as bath salts.
The epidemic is becoming a pressing problem for communities around the country, as demonstrated by residents of Oneida who protested the shop selling the synthetic drugs, claiming that those abusing bath salts or glass cleaner were terrorizing their neighborhoods. “It makes them into something they’re not and it turns them into animals,” said one protester.
Pamela McCarthy, the New York woman who recently died of cardiac arrest after being teasered by police to prevent her form strangling her 3-year-old-son, was just one of the cases the protesters refered to. And the situation complicates, as authorities try to catch up with synthetic drug manufacturers who are finding ways of staying "one step ahead" of police by finding new formulas with cheap, legal and easy to distribute substances and selling them in ways exempt from prosecution.