Earlier this year, BBC journalists were filming a TV show about drug use in Britain.
One of those they were following was a drug addict named Mario Perivoitos. Unfortunately, one evening in March, Mr. Perivoitos had a seizure and fell to the ground. His dog, a bull terrier, then attacked Perivoitos by biting his face and throat. Perivoitos died later that evening of major bleeding and a crushed larynx.
What caused the dog's attack?
Well, as the Guardian notes, "Nicholas Carmichael, a veterinary toxicologist, told the inquest that samples indicating high levels of cocaine and morphine were discovered in the dog's urine." This ingestion, apparently eight times the drug-drive limit, would have made the dog become "very excited and agitated. It is more likely that this attack happened because this dog had taken cocaine."
The coroner's inquiry concluded that the dog had likely consumed crack cocaine that it had found on the floor.
Still, while it's easy to look at this story with a slightly raised eye and perhaps a temptation towards vigorous social media sharing, we should remember its core lesson: This tragedy is yet another illumination of the horror of drug addiction. Perivoitos was apparently a skilled IT repair expert who had fallen on tough times. Such is the predictable suffering of many drug addicts. But whatever Perivoitos' reasons for taking drugs, his inability to prevent his dog's consumption of crack cocaine speaks to the loss of responsibility that goes with drug use. By all accounts, he cared for his dog, but his own drug use meant he could not protect it from his own choices.
And so, the story will end with another familiar wound of drug addiction: the collapse of families.
Perivoitos' dog is now set to be put down.