K2: chasing death

Brownell, Charles A.



K2: Chasing Death Is it a seizure? They shake and fall. Unable to stand, Unable to talk. Is it a hallucination? They freak and scream. What do they hear? What do they see? Is it the Devil? Why smoke it again? Given by fiends. Given by friends. They fall out unconscious, Cannot breathe a breath. Saved again, come back, Chasing their death. Is it insanity? They smoke it again, High and DEUCED out! Till death sets in. (R.I.P. Victims of A.D.C Deuce) In the Arkansas State Prison System, A.D.C., there is an epidemic most do not know nor understand. This epidemic is fed by a hunger and drive so strong that it can bypass all basic instincts and thoughts of self preservation and need to protect the self. This problem is not unique to A.D.C. but rather all prison systems both State and Federal and is an epidemic driving both men and women, including our youth chasing their own death. It has an overwhelming drive possibly worse than any other addiction. This epidemic is K2 called "Deuce" in prison and on the street and is deadlier and more addictive than any other drug with a drive stronger than the instinct or drive to live. When first I entered A.D.C., it was at the Ouachita River Unit in Malvern, Arkansas and I was asked by an inmate if I smoke Deuce. I told this man I do not. "Have you ever seen someone flop out on deuce?" he asked... I again had to tell the men no and this is when I got the most peculiar response. The man cracks out a laugh then says, "Man, are you in for a show and I don't want to ruin it for ya!" This man acted as if what I was about to see was a comedy instead of the tragedy of lost lives in which I later find this epidemic to actually be. Three days later, I am transferred to the Tucker Unit in Tucker, Arkansas. That first day inside Tucker Unit gave insight on what life is all about in here. An inmate approached me and asked if I use Meth, ICE, Skate, Wet, Bathsalts, pills, weed or deuce. I told the man that I don't do any of those and I prefer a cigarette or cigar. I was then informed by a second inmate in the cell that if I can get a wire, I can get anything I would like. I'd no IDEA at this moment that this introduction was the truth and reality of the drug scene inside of Tucker Unit and all of the A.D.C. My first day in Tucker was February 2nd, 2018 and I never dreamed of the real epidemic, the effects it would have mentally, nor the deaths and violence involved. It's now October 13th, 2018. Deuce (K2) is a chemical compound found in potpourri and was originally marketed as a "synthetic" marijuana. When this substance is inhaled by means of smoking it, the effect "appears" similar to the use of the cannabinoid marijuana. Deuce causes a euphoric high that at its peak, lasts for about thirty to forty five minutes. Deuce can cause some hallucinatory effects and might render the user in a temporary semi-conscious state referred to as being "slumped-out." This form of deuce was sold legally for several years at tobacco shops, convenient stores, and other retailers before it was deemed illegal. Deuce was soaked into vegetable matter and packaged under the brands of K2, Spice, Skunk, Head Change, and many more. The packages were commonly brightly colored with psychedelic looking patterns. In those early days, the users had a high similar to weed with a few different strains who's effects varied only very slightly. Deuce today has three very major strains and is about twenty five to thirty five percent stronger than the strains that were temporarily "legal." The three strains are referred to as "weed high," "gas," and the strongest called "thrax." Each of these strains have very different effects on the user. Weed High - The high is very similar to the use of marijuana. User often feels very strong happy euphoria. User might experience hyper activity of the limbs. Speech may become slurred, slow, or very difficult. Users usually stay conscious but some might be rendered semi-conscious in a Slump-Out which is a limp body unconscious or semi-conscious state. Gas - The high is like a combination of Weed High and Opium. Can cause vomiting, hallucinations, motor skills and speech skills are compromised. The user might Flop-out in which they have involuntary movements of the body and lose track of all their surroundings. It ends in a Slump-out. Thrax - The high is like combining heroin with ecstasy and weed high. Vomiting and hallucinations are very common and most users will flop-out then be in a full unconscious slump-out. On thrax, the ability to speak is gone, voluntary movements are very difficult and the user convulses like a seizure. Thrax may cause respiratory failure or asphyxiation on the user's own vomit. In the nine months I've been in A.D.C., the things I've seen that are direct results of deuce have been astounding and disturbing. Theft, Rape, Assault, and Murder all because of this substance. I've seen men slump-out or flop-out and die and we are left to speculate if it was the substance or the vomit that caused the death. I've seen men who freak out because of visual and auditory hallucinations that run, crawl, scream and sadly some have fell or jumped off the second tier to the benches or concrete floor below. All of the users swear they can quit any time and when one of them dies they reflect on how that could have been them... They go on how they are done and then minutes later they are high again.. Some of the users are genuinely upset it wasn't them that died. Most peculiar is when a person dies, money floods from all over because all the deuce heads want what just killed that man. The dealers have no care or remorse for their victims. Dealers have two accepted methods for users to pay a peculiar method of measurement and most dissolute sources for resupply. Payment is done by means of money wire through Green dot Money Pak, Western Union Money transfer, or Money Gram Money transfer or by Commissary via having money put on the dealer's books or the deuce head buying the dealer what they want of commissary or inmate council. Measurements are done in CAPs with a single CAP being worth twenty five dollars. The "CAP" is the CAP off of the Chapex Chap Stick tube. Some break down the CAP into individual sticks worth five dollars each. you can get about twelve sticks from a single CAP. About twenty seven percent of all the deuce coming in is entering by friends and family, the remaining seventy three percent is coming in by A.D.C. staff. Unfortunately deuce makes a very large amount of money in prison... more so than the "free" world. It would be silly to think that there isn't any other drugs in A.D.C. because all other drugs are here but none of them are as abundant, destructive, nor are they the epidemic that deuce is. There are very few deaths in A.D.C. for other drugs and never really hit the news for anything but deuce. We see multiple deaths per year caused by the use of deuce and most commonly the "thrax" strain of it. We had two deaths just this weekend here in Tucker Unit. How many families will lose their son, brother, husband, father all because of this epidemic? How many more lives must be lost for the state to admit they have a very real problem? How many "LIFE" sentences must be paid that were never life sentences to begin with? How many lies will actually be told to the public? I've seen men smoke deuce sticks and at the peak of high go into convulsions like a seizure for long periods of time from five to forty five minutes. Many flop-out and fall suffering physical injury. They get so deuced out their speech becomes only squeaks, moans, groans all very simple sounds because their brain cannot function. I've watched men cling to walls, bunks, phones, anything for dear life like they might die if they let go. I watched one of my own cell mates die after turning blue. He had urinated and defecated himself. When another inmate got him back by performing CPR, it wasn't an hour later, he was smoking deuce again. I've seen men vomit all over everything and each other then they lay in it. Some drown in their own vomit. I've watched men have full psychotic episodes screaming calling out to God or their mommy. I've seen a man that was high on deuce rape another man flopped-out on deuce. I've seen men die because after smoking deuce, they just stop breathing. I've watched all of these men turn around 100% of the time and smoke again after all the bad stuff just happened to them because the need or addiction is so strong. I've watched men get stabbed, attacked, cut up, beaten, raped, their stuff stolen all to "pay" for their racked up debt. The deuce heads will all turn right around and do it again. The use and distribution of this terrible substance effects everyone in the barracks, not just the dealer and the user. Deuce heads steal from everyone to chase stick. Sick men sit and cheer on and laugh at the deuce heads then make fun of them for what they do when they flop-out or freak out. When a man is down and dying others will say, "Come on man, you're better than this." and if the person dies they will say, "Oh! Guess not." We have to watch this nightmare epidemic and the emotion that comes with it as our moods fall and our PTSD gets worse. We empathize with the families and the men that will never go home. We must deal with the mass depression of death and men we know that will never go home. Deuce is the worst epidemic in the Prison Systems, more so than any other drug or substance to exist. It is so addictive it can bypass all logic of the self preservation instinct to live. Users can die, be saved and brought back fully aware they died and will one hundred percent of the time use deuce again the same day they died. K2 or deuce users spend all time and efforts chasing their next high when in reality, they are actually chasing death!

Author: Brownell, Charles A.

Author Location: Arkansas

Date: November 7, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 15 pages

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