In our preoccupation with opioids, we may have temporarily forgotten what it was like when the crack and methamphetamine outbreaks were in full bloom. That wasn’t so long ago, and reports have it that both are well on their way back to prominence.

With opioids, the usual run of criminal activity (other than trafficking, of course) has centered on overdose, infectious disease, theft and burglary. That’s bad enough, but personally, I just hate to think of heavyweight stimulant abuse making a comeback. I’d expect to read more stories like this one.

Affidavit: Trio planned to kill Española woman, make it look like OD

Court records describe two males and a female who set out to murder another woman, herself a drug user, and make it appear she’d accidentally overdose on heroin.

No doubt this seemed like a clever plan at the time.

According to the victim’s own testimony, she was waiting on the sidewalk for a ride from her friend, when the three villains drove up, stopped, got out and threatened her at gunpoint, then pulled her into their vehicle and took off. All the while they were telling her she was about to die. She was initially in the back seat with one of the men but once outside town limits, they pulled over, yanked her from the vehicle, punched her a few times, and transferred her to the front passenger seat. One of the kidnappers sat directly behind her and squeezed her by the neck to prevent escape. Off they drove.

Eventually they arrived at the home of a third man who provided them with a bottle of bleach. The female kidnapper blindfolded the victim with blue plastic tape, then forced her to undress and pushed her into the shower. She poured the bottle of bleach over the woman’s head, and complained bitterly when some spilled onto her own clothing. Ruined her new pants, apparently.

Back in the vehicle, the three assailants drove onto a high bridge over the Rio Grande. They injected her with a substantial dose of heroin, and waited for her to die. But that took longer than expected and they quickly lost patience and just tossed her off the bridge into the river. It’s quite a drop. The victim floated downstream and unbelievably, was able to make her way to the riverbank and climb out. She walked to a nearby home and called the police.

It’s crime of the sort you expect to find in a Quentin Tarantino movie but I’ve come to associate over the years with cocaine, crack, meth, and other stimulants. Contributing to this insanity are factors like exhaustion from lack of sleep, irregular eating because of appetite suppression, and the escalating paranoia that accompanies heavy stimulant use. All regular features of a stimulant binge.

When it was all over, the victim could only speculate as to their motive for the kidnapping. She thought they’d seen her one time when she gave a ride to another woman who apparently had stolen drugs from the kidnappers. Sheer bad luck they’d seen her standing on the street, she thought. Even though she wasn’t herself the thief, she claimed, they must have decided to take their revenge then and there.

That could all be nonsense, of course. But people do make bizarre decisions after staying up and smoking crack for a few days.

Anyway, if you were a fan of Breaking Bad but considered it over the top fiction? Think again.