On Monday, Aug. 15, Austin Harrouff was found biting off pieces of John Stevens’ face, while Michelle Stevens lay dead a few feet away. Although toxicology reports have all come back negative, there is a drug that takes longer to detect, called Flakka.
I am no toxicologist and I could be wrong, but last year I was given an assignment on this specific drug. I found out that Flakka is a very dangerous drug – it gives the user hallucinations and paranoia. It makes them abnormally strong with violent actions. Known as the zombie drug, it takes all consciousness from the user.
I believe that Harrouff may have taken Flakka. I do not believe that Harrouff would have been able to attack three victims and withstand a Taser if not in some disorientation. Martin County Sheriff, William Snyder, said that “he was a good kid.” Why would a “good kid” of sober mind murder two innocent people?
Harrouff was described as being abnormally strong and “growling” when the police showed up. These are symptoms of a Flakka user. Friends and family also said he was acting out of character all week long, claiming to be “immortal.” Through my research last year, I found out that there have been reports of many other Flakka users having gone through the same thing.
I personally cannot see a sane student turning into a killer overnight. Reading over Harrouff’s story, there is no other reason that I can come up with other than mental, which has already been ruled out by his mother. Good people don’t kill good people.
I am a freshman, so I say this from the point of view of a reader, not a college student: I do not think that college is a place for drugs. I find them irrelevant from the perspective of learning at school. I understand the mindset of letting loose in college; I also plan to have fun these next few years, but, reading this story made me realize that this could be me one day. I could be the student that took the drug and is now facing capital punishment. I don’t want to ever put myself into the position that Harrouff is in.
I understand that many will read this piece in disagreement with me. I also know personally that many students deal with drugs on a daily basis. I’ve read about too many consequences of drugs to treat them lightly.
I know secondhand what drugs can do to someone; I have watched my cousin smoke his life away, daily. He now is 27-years-old and living in his parents’ basement. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live like that.
Harrouff was a normal college student with a good life. Now, he is going to face capital punishment or jail for life without bail. That could be you or me – it’s your decision if you let it happen.