Timmy’s Tip: Don’t Mix Cocaine and Pufferfish
Back in the day when I was a tiny Tim going to school, the D.A.R.E. program taught me to stay away from drugs like cocaine. I followed what they taught and to this day, have never used illegal drugs. Much in the same way, there was a "Simpsons" episode where Homer ate Pufferfish and thought he was gonna die. Ever since that episode I've learned to stay away from pufferfish. If only a 43-year-old man in Florida could have had the same education I did.
After eating the liver of the fish, the unnamed man took a horrible turn in health. Vomiting, numbness and weakness in his legs, slurred speech, chest and stomach pains all led him to the emergency room. Doctors found that the man had extremely high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.
In questioning the patient, he admitted to the cocaine use, to which doctors were able to attribute the elevated blood pressure to that. But the other symptoms were caused by tetrodotoxin (TTX), the poison that the "Simpsons" warned us about in the 1991 episode One Fish, Two Fish, Blow Fish, Blue Fish. TTX is 1,000 times more toxic than cyanide and there is no antidote.
Dr. Patricia Almeida reported how "If intoxication does not result in death, symptoms usually recover within 24 hours, as was the case with our patient." Most of him recovered, his kidneys are another story. The TTX & cocaine was too much for that particular organ, and the man will require dialysis for the rest of his life.
Homer, on the other hand, is still alive and kicking!