Two Arrested for Blowing ‘Zombie Drug’ Into Faces of Victims
Victims Robbed By Women Blowing ‘Zombie Drug’ Into Faces
Two women were arrested in Paris, charged in connection to a string of robberies, alleging that they had used a powdered form of the powerful alkaloid drug scopalamine, also known as “Devil’s Breath” to seek out unsuspecting locals on the street. Sources report that the drug was blown into the victims faces, who would subsequently inhale it and become unaware of their surroundings. According to reports, police said that two women from China had asked victims to take them back to their homes. One victim lost an estimated €100,000 (nearly $113,000) worth of cash and valuables.
While some reports say that scopalamine produces zombie-like behavior rendering victims susceptible to states of ‘mind-control’, skeptics point out that the drug’s effects are mostly limited to those you would expect from any other strong sedative. Still, at higher doses the drug can become a strong hallucinogen and render victims into catatonic states. Some higher doses of scopalamine may act as a respiratory depressant and could lead to death, though the average number of deaths reported by the FDA for clinical use remains at less than 1%. It is used to treat some forms of nausea as well as stomach spasms, and occasionally given to patients prior to surgery to reduce respiratory secretions. Early research with the drug led to the discovery of over-the-counter antihistamines, like Benadryl.
Historically, scopalamine was reportedly used during the early 20th century by world authorities as a sort-of ‘truth serum’ when it was discovered that women receiving the drug during childbirth were more likely to be candid with physicians when asked certain questions. The degree to its uses in counterintelligence during the WWII era remains a mystery, though Czech authorities admitting to administering the drug discontinued its use in 2009 due to its numerous adverse side effects.
Similar reports of scopalamine’s use for robbery in South America last year prompted U.S. State officials with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to release a travel warning to individuals planning to travel into Columbia. Part of the report reads:
One common and particularly dangerous method that criminals use in order to rob a victim is through the use of a variety of drugs, particularly scopolamine. Unofficial estimates put the number of annual scopolamine incidents in Colombia at approximately 50,000. Scopolamine can render a victim unconscious for 24 hours or more. In large doses, it can cause respiratory failure and death. It is most often administered in liquid or powder form in foods and beverages. The majority of these incidents occur in night clubs and bars, and usually men, perceived to be wealthy, are targeted by young, attractive women. To avoid becoming a victim of scopolamine, one should never accept food or beverages offered by strangers or new acquaintances, nor leave food or beverages unattended. Victims of scopolamine or other drugs should seek immediate medical attention.
Skeptics are also quick to point out that these unofficial reports, in addition to the allegations made by police and local media, could be entirely unfounded. “(It) seems pretty unlikely,”according to one forensic investigator. “The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has never had any mention of scopolamine being used in this way.” In an interview with The Guardian, Val Curran, a professor of pharmacology at UCL’s Clinical Pharmacology Unit mentioned, “You get these scare stories and they have no toxicology, so nobody knows what it is. The idea that it is scopolamine is a bit far-fetched, because it could be anything.”
Do you think that the robbery story involving the use of “devil’s breath” could be true, or do you think that it could all be just another myth surrounding a misunderstood form of medicine?
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