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21-year-old dies after one drop of new synthetic drug at Voodoo Fest

Home - by - November 3, 2012 - 20:00 America/New_York - 52 Comments

Nola.com

The best friends had traveled together to music festivals all over the country. Sometimes, they would take drugs. But they had one rule: Never accept drugs from strangers.

clayton.jpg
Clayton Otwell, 21Family photo

But on Saturday, after a night drinking vodka-Red Bulls at Voodoo Festival at City Park, 21-year-old Clayton Otwell, of Little Rock, Ark., apparently forgot his rule, said Mandie Newell, his best friend and companion at the festival.

A stranger, wanting to repay Otwell for helping find his cell phone, offered Otwell a free dose of 25-I, a new synthetic hallucinogenic drug. As Newell watched,  her friend knelt and the stranger plopped a single drop from a vial into Otwell’s nose.

Otwell immediately started babbling incoherently, Newell said. She got him to the medical tent at the festival, but within 30 minutes, he had a seizure and never regained consciousness. Taken to Tulane University Hospital, he was placed on life support Saturday night; he died Tuesday.

“I honestly don’t know why he took it,” Newell said a few days after Otwell’s death. “I guess the drinking impaired his judgment on whether or not he should take it. I think he just felt really good for helping the kid find his phone and he trusted him.”

Otwell was one of at least three people treated for 25-I overdoses during Voodoo Festival weekend, one local emergency room doctor said, noting that friends of all three had indicated it was their first time taking the drug.

Otwell’s friends said dealers at Voodoo Fest had been offering people doses of 25-I all weekend, marketing it as artificial LSD or artificial mescaline. “This weekend, it was everywhere,” said Jarod Brignac, 24, who also was with Otwell at the festival. “The people had bottles and bottles of it; they were walking through the crowd, trying to make a dime off people at the festival.”

 

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» 52 Comments

  1. Edith McCrotch

    November 3rd, 2012

    Death, the ultimate trip.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +17

     
  2. Cynic

    November 3rd, 2012

    He’ll still manage to vote for Obama.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +33

     
  3. Cynic

    November 3rd, 2012

    Sounds like he fulfilled hid purpose in life – to be a waring to others.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +10

     
  4. Unneutral

    November 3rd, 2012

    With all the weird drugs that are out there for the ignorant masses I fail to understand why the government maintains such a big opposition to home distilling which is nothing but refined beer.

    Thumb up +7

     
  5. Goldenfoxx

    November 3rd, 2012

    He didn’t forget his #1 rule, he wanted to get ripped and he paid the price.

    Thumb up +9

     
  6. mizdoolally

    November 3rd, 2012

    Call me an old fuddy duddy…that’s what I am, I guess. But why, oh why, do these young people continue to punish their bodies and psyches like they do?

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +21

     
  7. Carlsonal

    November 3rd, 2012

    Substance abuse… How do they say it? Oh yeah… “All bets are off.”.

    Thumb up +5

     
  8. AvgDude

    November 3rd, 2012

    What can you say about a subculture filled with vegans and people who obsess about the food that goes into their bodies, but when some stranger says, “Let me put this uncontrolled chemical in your sinuses.”, where it will immediately get absorbed into your blood stream and nervous system, and the answer is, “Uh… sure… whatever… It doesn’t have meat products in it though, does it?”

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +44

     
  9. angusmac

    November 3rd, 2012

    “With all the weird drugs that are out there for the ignorant masses I fail to understand why the government maintains such a big opposition to home distilling which is nothing but refined beer.”

    I could be wrong about this but Home brewing is legal in most places…. the revenuers just don’t want you selling it tax free… It’s all about the money ;)

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +12

     
  10. Unruly Refugee

    November 3rd, 2012

    0bama Kool-aid.

    Thumb up +9

     
  11. Buck Ofama

    November 3rd, 2012

    Score one for Darwin. From the looks of him, society didn’t lose a thing except another leech.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +10

     
  12. cfm990

    November 3rd, 2012

    25-I aka Darwin Drops

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +14

     
  13. Buck Ofama

    November 3rd, 2012

    Having lived in New Orleans for most of my life, I can tell you that VooDoo Fest is nothing more than a drug free-for-all. The government there needs to control the crowds better, or do away with it.

    JazzFest in the spring is much better and the crowd is different for the most part.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +11

     
  14. J Frank Parnell

    November 3rd, 2012

    It is REAL easy to die from something stupid. Just stay away from this shit kids, say no thanks and walk away.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +11

     
  15. sablegsd

    November 3rd, 2012

    His head looks huge compared to his shoulders.
    Too bad it was empty.

    Thumb up +6

     
  16. old_oaks

    November 3rd, 2012

    Used to be all the wannabe hippies were scared of a dredlocked hippie and a spray bottle, then Jerry died and now I guess they’ll try anything.

    Thumb up +4

     
  17. Corona

    November 3rd, 2012

    5th level vegan who won’t eat anything that casts a shadow yet will jab a needle full of thorazine into his eyes. mkay.

    Thumb up +8

     
  18. Chuck U Farley

    November 3rd, 2012

    In the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield…

    “Now I know why tigers eat their young!”

    Thumb up +7

     
  19. Moe tom

    November 3rd, 2012

    Go ahead. Ask me if I GAF!

    Thumb up +8

     
  20. AbigailAdams

    November 3rd, 2012

    It’ll never change. That’s why the words “callow” and “youth” are redundant. It’s always something: hot cars, alcohol, drugs, risky relationships. Unfortunately our kids are having a harder time finding ways to grow up, the old rites of passage used to culminate in a feeling of self-reliance, vigor and a growth in wisdom. Now kids defy death with gang rituals, dangerous drugs and baby-making. It all looks “adult” on the outside, but doesn’t do the job on the inside.

    Thumb up +9

     
  21. hanoverfist

    November 3rd, 2012

    I was stupid in the 80′s

    But not that stupid.

    O.K.
    Almost.;-)

    Thumb up +4

     
  22. hanoverfist

    November 3rd, 2012

    Dreeds=Deads

    Thumb up +2

     
  23. Rick

    November 3rd, 2012

    angusmac, the ATF doesn’t want you selling or distilling homemade beer or wine. Making beer or wine yields ethanol every time. Distilling can yield some weird blends if the temperature is wrong.

    And yes, they don’t want you selling it without they get they cut. And getting in a position to pay their tax is very complicated and expensive.

    Thumb up +2

     
  24. Bad Brad

    November 3rd, 2012

    AbigailAdams,hanoverfist. Thank you, I’ve been biting my tongue. Youth IS wasted on the young. And growing up is a lot tougher then when we went thru it. You can blame the parents, but truth be told peer pressure holds all the cards.

    Thumb up +9

     
  25. hanoverfist

    November 3rd, 2012

    Brad
    The choices back then(God that makes me feel old)
    was beer booze pot mushrooms speed downers or the stuff you couldnt afford.
    Coke and heroin.
    Then those got cheep.

    But todays stuff will kill you oughtright.

    Kind of like the STDs (Shudder)

    Thumb up +4

     
  26. pdwalker

    November 3rd, 2012

    Just think of it as Evolution in Action.

    Thumb up +6

     
  27. Bad Brad

    November 3rd, 2012

    hanoverfist, They are faced with much more temptation and deadly shit then what we were faced with. But I do think there’s a lot less desire to do the right thing and buck the curve. My kids have a lot of friends six feet under. At that age, I did not. Funny thing is, the ones that enlisted seem to be much better off. Hmm.

    Thumb up +8

     
  28. pissedpatriot30

    November 3rd, 2012

    Locks of love by chance…..?

    Thumb up +4

     
  29. Carlos The Jackal

    November 3rd, 2012

    Played with fire, got burned.
    It doesn’t sound that he would have made a contributing member of society, but what do I know?

    Thumb up +7

     
  30. Bob M.

    November 3rd, 2012

    STOOPID: The Next Generation! :roll:

    Oh wait – he died, didn’t he?

    STOOPID: The LAST Generation! :oops:

    Thumb up +4

     
  31. Chuck U Farley

    November 3rd, 2012

    You only get one life (apologies to Shirley McClain).

    That lesson is quickly learned by those that die by ‘death from misadventure’.

    Evolution’s a bitch, ain’t it?

    Thumb up +4

     
  32. Commissar M

    November 3rd, 2012

    Former N’Awlinian myself.

    My first thoughts were “Voodoo Fest is still around?” and “Why the hell do neo-pseudo-hippy white kids wear dreads?”. Voodoo Fest was, and obviously still is, the archetypal “wretched hive of scum and villainy” with a reputation for free-flowing drugs and other vices. There’s simply no way to allow this stuff to go on with tacit approval of all “responsible” parties and not eventually have this kind of result.

    Thumb up +7

     
  33. even steven

    November 4th, 2012

    21 is pretty early to be checking out. That’s too bad. He looks baked in his photo.

    Thumb up +3

     
  34. Boobie the Rocket Dog

    November 4th, 2012

    One less Obama vote . . . unless he voted early.

    Thumb up +3

     
  35. Your Inner Voice

    November 4th, 2012

    Looks like 25-I is a more efficient gene pool scrubber than bath salts, crack, PCP, heroin, or meth.

    Thumb up +5

     
  36. simply enraged

    November 4th, 2012

    @ Abigail and Brad: Gerat omments! Funny, my eldest(age 45)and I were just discussing the current younger generation this evening. He runs a microgenetics lab and deals with undergrad and grad students all the time. He’s competely dismayed and disgusted with the students who go through his lab. He notes little to no effort, concern about doing a good job, ambition, self motivation and experience with or awareness of real life in far far too many of them. His wife, who manages a different program at the same U, notes the same. Pretty scary.

    Thumb up +7

     
  37. conservative cowgirl

    November 4th, 2012

    @Your Inner Voice, especially since the drug apparently does not give one time to act out badly and maim or kill others before one kicks the big bucket.

    Thumb up +2

     
  38. Piker

    November 4th, 2012

    Yay! More pie for me!

    Thumb up +7

     
  39. Reg

    November 4th, 2012

     
  40. Jerry Manderin

    November 4th, 2012

    And to think he died at an event called “Voodoo Festival.”

    It just doesn’t make any sense!

    Thumb up +3

     
  41. Noelegy

    November 4th, 2012

    Look at the length of those dreads. He’d been committed to his idiocy for years.

    Thumb up +2

     
  42. Tim

    November 4th, 2012

    “There but by the grace of God …”

    RIP

    Thumb up +1

     
  43. FreeMan & Sarah Voting Early & Often

    November 4th, 2012

    Dope

    Thumb up +1

     
  44. reddecaesari

    November 4th, 2012

    and now for a musical intervention by ella fitzgerald

    Thumb up 0

     
  45. Eric

    November 4th, 2012

    “Never accept drugs from strangers”

    Exactly where do they think the drugs they accept from “friends” comes from?

    Serializing the childhood lesson about strangers doesn’t alleviate the danger inherent with illegal or dangerous chemicals.

    I’ve always thought the best way to fight illegal drugs is to poison them at the source so the end user becomes a victim who will never again use.

    Thumb up 0

     
  46. Doc

    November 4th, 2012

    Cowgirl, I agree…that would be called “Some Really Good Shit”…Since it is so fast acting it should be legalized. Now that would clean the gene pool.

    Thumb up +1

     
  47. Anonymous

    November 4th, 2012

    Doing synthetic drugs is like playing Russian roulette with your brain and body. If one MUST take exotic substances, stick with organics (cannabis or psilocybin mushrooms) obtained from a trusted source.

    Having once been a latter-day hippie late Mr. Otwell (albeit a bit smarter and lacking the dreads), I can’t join people here in gloating over his death. May he rest in peace, may his family and friends find peace and comfort, and may this be a lesson to young folks tempted by offers of strange substances.

    Thumb up +2

     
  48. Skorpion

    November 4th, 2012

    late = like. And that post was by me, Skorpion.

    Thumb up +1

     
  49. Clay's friend

    November 11th, 2012

    There are some incredibly disrespectful comments on this forum, but the really sad thing is how many likes they get. It’s disappointing to see people can be so insensitive, especially when they have nothing to go by in a situation than the media’s interpretation and they have no idea how Clayton used substances. He made one mistake, under the influence of a lot of alcohol (go on, tell me you’ve never done that and you aren’t lucky to be alive), and now his friends and family get to see people who never knew him ridiculing him on the internet for a quick laugh, then move onto the next meme. Clayton had more respect for his mind and body (and no, he wasn’t vegan) than most festy kids out there that live every day like a vegetable, and he was immensely smarter than you assholes are trying to make him out to be. Judging by your completely rude comments, even though I don’t know you I’d go as far as to call him smarter than you. Consider your own habits, with drugs, alcohol and all other human interactions, and consider yourself lucky to be alive. We can learn a lesson from him, but not by thinking we’re better or smarter. Humility and appreciation are key.

    Thumb up +1

     
  50. Clay's friend

    November 11th, 2012

    Before you post something like that, please remember that every day his mother, father, grandmother, brother, and friends are reading these comments and crying. Not because they know you’re right, but because they know you’re doomed.

    Thumb up +1

     
  51. Clay's friend

    November 11th, 2012

    “iowntheworld” = society of arrogant assholes that are sealing their own fate in their arrogance. go ahead and keep experimenting with poison and judging people who aren’t like you because you think you’re a scientist. you’re not, you’re a dumb kid. get over yourself and stay alive, please.

    Thumb up +1

     
  52. For Clayton

    November 13th, 2012

    What has our world come to? All these judgements and did any of you even know him? Even though Clay isn’t with us in the physical anymore, I can tell you that he IS still with us. Clayton has a beautiful spirit and he continues to shine his light on this world. One day, we will all know the power of love. So bring your nasty comments, bring your hate, bring your demeaning…I know that one day you will all see the truth and power of love.
    I love you Clayton O….shine bright sweet soul.
    And thank you Clayton’s friend.

    Thumb up 0