Anderson, SC — Earlier this month, a 20-year-old woman walked up to the South Main Chapel in upstate South Carolina and began prying her eyes from her head using her own fingers. As good Samaritans and first responders tried to stop her, she fought them off successfully and is now permanently blind.
Kaylee Muthart is still in the hospital and recovering from this self-inflicted injury. Her mother, Katy Tompkins said her daughter had been taking drugs and this was likely the cause of the tragic event on February 6.
"I had just found out about her marijuana use about six weeks before the incident," Katy Tompkins said to WYFF. "She knows that I am very anti-drug. But she told me that she had been smoking marijuana and that someone has slipped some methamphetamine in it. She became addicted to meth right away and that’s when she started using."
But marijuana and even meth don't cause people to gouge their own eyes out in front of churches. Even Muthart's doctor admits this.
"On the day of the incident, she thinks that someone put something else in with the meth. Her doctors think so too, but it's too hard to tell exactly what it was from the blood tests. He doctor said that typically meth doesn't lead people to do something so traumatic," said Tompkins.
While meth and weed would most likely not cause someone to go through something so horrifying, Flakka, a synthetic drug similar to bath salts, has taken off in popularity in South Florida over the past few years, and it definitely would.
Flakka causes delirium and the feeling of superhuman strength, and is known to cause extremely bizarre behavior – including a 17-year-old girl “running down a street naked, covered in blood and screaming, “I am God! I am Satan!”
Homeland Security Investigations in Miami said the area is “ground central” for flakka shipments, which often come from China. There is no known legitimate use for the substance.
Over the past two years, Flakka has been making its way up the Atlantic coast and all of the sudden reports of Flakka-induced mania began surfacing in the Carolinas—where Kaylee lives.
Because of the synthetic nature of the drug, Flakka is hard to test for, especially when mixed with the cocktail of chemicals in methamphetamine. But to those who've watched the myriad of videos of people on this "drug," Kaylee sounds like she was on it, or something just like it.
But that brings us to the question? Why on earth would someone manufacture a substance and people take that substance which makes them go insane?
The answer is quite simple: The war on drugs.
Because psychoactive drugs that humans have used for centuries have been banned by most modern governments, people turn to synthetic attempts at mimicking the high. Just as Spice (synthetic marijuana) has emerged to supposedly mimic cannabis, meth became sought after to mimic cocaine and when meth was banned, flakka came in to fill the void.
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But the difference is, Spice, flakka, and often times, meth cause psychotic symptoms, bodily damage and death, whereas cannabis has never caused an overdose and has well-recognized medicinal value. Cocaine and its synthetic counterpart, meth, sourced from the black market, which is laced with other unknown chemicals, can cause overdose and death.
Flakka is far more dangerous than cocaine.
Much of the dangers associated with cocaine would diminish if the drug were legalized and people had the freedom to put what they want into their own bodies. In a legal market, this extract of the coca leaf – which has been used for thousands of years by South Americans – would be produced in exact dosages known to the consumer, free from harmful synthetic chemicals.
If people could go to the store and buy a bit of cocaine, as they can buy alcohol, we could expect the demand for flakka and meth to be reduced or non-existent.
Prohibition does nothing to curb the supply or the demand of drugs, but it enriches the corporatocracy and gives the State immense power over our personal freedom. It creates a void in the demands for drugs and those voids are filled with even more dangerous substances such as flakka.
We should have learned the lesson that prohibition only causes greater harm, during the miserable attempt at alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933. When government attempted to ban alcohol, its production and distribution shifted to the black market, and people suffered and died.
Reports of blindness and death were common as people attempted to make their own alcohol but failed to realize the dangerous by-products that can be produced. Bootleg alcohol fueled violent criminal gangs exploiting prohibition for financial gain. We are seeing the exact same scenario play out today.
There will always be demand for psychoactive drugs, and there will always be supply to meet this demand. If government attempts to ban substances, making it a little harder for some people to get things like cocaine, they will synthesize some other, more dangerous substance.
So now we have flakka, which emerged as a replacement for bath salts, which had emerged (now banned) as something you could buy at the store for a cocaine-like high.
The government keeps banning things, and people keep getting worse off. Synthetic drugs are killing people, especially our kids.
But government has a novel approach this time – it’s working on banning flakka, and they’re trying to get China to ban certain chemicals and stop their export. As the DEA admits, when they manage to ban one substance, producers will slightly alter the compound to make it a new substance free from the “controlled substances” ban.
There’s a saying about doing something over and over again and expecting different results, being the mark of insanity. Prohibition is the perfect demonstration of this, and we are witnessing the physical manifestations in the crazed, murderous behaviors caused by flakka.
“As we prepare for the long road to getting her situated in her new life we are asking for your help," Tompkins posted in a GoFundMe for her daughter. "The journey will no doubt require many things to allow her to live a full life.
“But If Kaylee's story can help just one person, something good can come of this tragedy in our family."
Indeed, if we truly want to prevent these horrifying incidents from occurring, the time to end the drug war is now.