3 years ago1,000+ Views
Yes, this title is a bit sensationalized, but I'm taking it right from the news source where I found the story: "Paris police have seized two Chinese women and a man on suspicion of using a powerful Colombian drug known as 'the devil's breath' to turn people into 'zombies' devoid of free will and rob them."
What? What does that even mean?
It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but actually, the substance is a real thing. It was used as a truth serum in the past, and is also known as scopolamine. It's a well studied drug administered for motion sickness, but all drugs can do dangerous things in high dosages. The documentary above by VICE goes into a bit more backstory on this drug, though its a bit sensationalist, too.
But really, this article is all sensationalism: Zombies? "Trip"? Scopolamine induces delirium at high dosages. It's not something that turns you into a zombie. News coverage of anything related to drugs tends to take on this wonderland approach to things, when really, the scheme was targeted at elderly people who were being convinced to inhale drugs they thought had medicinal properties. Ambien or Xanas could have been used to similar effect.
But hey, if zombies is what's going to sell the news story (and get you to open this card), so be it.
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@VinMcCarthy That's true, I just find it annoying that the news finds it necessary to make this kind of "scary" headline instead of just explaining the drug for what it really is. Very little of the actual information of how it was being used to harm/affect people was clearly in the major news articles, most came from secondary sources & wasn't included beyond the "zombie" headline.
@drwhat well generally VICE is good at providing a full sense of coverage, more than just abloid news or anything like that. but I agree that major media outlets jump for the scare factor when they share their news. I think it's a growing problem, because people are less inclined to check something out unless it has some of that shock value.
@VinMcCarthy Definitely. Thankfully I've seen a lot of people seem to be resisting this idea more lately, so hopefully the trend will end in the next few years. Though that's still too long of a trend imho
@drwhat I agree. sensationalism doesn't do any justice to the pursuit of truth or legitmate journalism, and it doesn't help to better inform the people.
@VinMcCarthy Exactly. If there's a real concern here, better to teach people the facts and help them understand the risk rather than trying to just scare them into being afraid. Fear doesn't foster any sort of good understanding that can keep them safe.