Family says synthetic drug led to suicide


by Adam Walser

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 12:57 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 15 at 12:30 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Corydon man hanged himself after family members say he suffered paranoia due to a drug he bought at a convenience store. WHAS11 has been telling you about these substances for months. They go by names like Zoom, Blow, White Lightning and Scarface.

These drugs are marketed as everything from bug spray to stain removers, to bath salt. What they're really designed to do is get people high, but, as we've discovered, sometimes that high can end up costing users their lives.

It happened to one family who wants to remain anonymous, but wants you to hear their story.

On Monday, everything changed for a woman whose husband, Travis, was found hanging from a tree.

“I have to bury my husband and I had to tell my 3-year-old son his dad went to be with the angels today,” the woman said. 

She said what drove her husband to suicide was a white powdery substance he bought at a convenience store near her home. 

“If you could buy it at the store, it can't be that bad. He didn't see what it was doing to him. He didnt' think he had a problem,” she said. 

The drug, called Scarface, comes in a small package and is snorted. It has a picture from the movie “Scarface” on the label. The drug sells for $50 a gram, more than the price of gold. It's one of many drugs we've found sold in Indiana convenience stores that have effects similar to cocaine, methamphetamine or L.S.D.

“This last time, he's been up for 14 days,” Travis’ wife said.

One of Travis’ best family friends describes the paranoia she observed in him during his final hours.

“I'll never forget the look of Travis looking at me scared to death. White as cotton. Begging for help because people were trying to kill him,” she said. 

Harrison County Police said another man, David Clary, is also believed to have died after using synthetic drugs heavily.

Earlier this month, Clary was found face-down in a garden after abandoning his truck and running into the woods.

WHAS11 went to the store where Travis bought the drug to try to buy Scarface. The clerk told us he learned when he came in for his shift Monday that the store had stopped selling it, although he said it had been a big seller.

Ironically, the Harrison County Commission passed a new ordinance Monday outlawing synthetic drugs like Scarface. Similar ordinances have already been passed in Clark and Floyd counties.