rudy eugene & ronald poppo

Rudy Eugene - Ronald Poppo

*The sickening and frightening story of a Miami man, Rudy Eugene, turning into a cannibal and eating the face off of another man, Ronald Poppo, has shocked the world.

The incident is right out of a grade b horror film, but it’s all too real.

TheGrio has written a very insightful piece that asks whether cocaine or LSD was the key reason Eugene went off the deep end and why.

The horrifying thought of a man eating another man’s face leads one to ask: how could someone in his or her right mind do that? Clearly, Rudy Eugene was not in his.

One theory is that he suffered from “cocaine psychosis,” meaning that cocaine caused him to become psychotic and attack the victim, Ronald Poppo. Another theory implicates LSD-like chemicals in bath salts as the cause.

However, simply finding cocaine or any other drug in a psychotic person’s system does not mean it led to his or her violent behavior. There are many people who self-medicate their psychological illnesses with alcohol, pain medications or other illicit substances instead of seeking professional help. It is possible that Eugene already had an underlying mental illness before ever using drugs.

Psychosis of any kind involves a loss of reality. During a psychotic episode, people believe things that aren’t true and sometimes see or hear things that are not there. Psychosis is part of several psychiatric illnesses, most commonly, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

But, the generalization linking psychosis to violent, horrifying behavior is not representative of all those with the illness.

There are, in fact, examples of people with longstanding psychosis or an acute, “psychotic break” who kill their own families or attack innocent people.

Read/learn more at theGrio.

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