N-Bomb: Man Dies At Voodoo Festival In New Orleans From New Lethal Drug

There is a disturbing account of a death of a young man who participated in the annual Halloween celebrations in New Orleans. Clayton Otwell, 21, went to New Orleans with a friend to go to the Voodoo Festival in the City Park. After helping a stranger, he was offered the chance to try a new type of drug called 25-I. It took just one drop up the nose to kill him. The drug is called “N-Bomb” for its chemical composition 25I-NBOMe and is an extremely potent synthetic substance analogous to LSD.


Otwell was drinking vodka-loaded Red Bulls at the festival with his friend, Mandie Newell. They had a rule never to try drugs offered by strangers. However, after Otwell found a cellphone of a stranger, the stranger offered to let him try a new synthetic hallucinogenic drug called 25-I. Apparently, you take the drug through the nose. However, once given a single drop from a vial, Otwell began babbling incoherently. His friend took him to the medical tent but within 30 minutes, Otwell had a seizure and never regained consciousness. He died days later on life support.

His friend said that she did not know why he took the drug but is quoted as saying “I guess the drinking impaired his judgment on whether or not he should take it.” Two other people were treated for 25-I overdoses that weekend. Witnesses say that dealers at Voodoo Fest were offering people doses of 25-I all weekend.

25I-NBOMe (2C-I-NBOMe) is a derivative of the phenethylamine psychedelic 2C-I developed in 2003 by Ralf Heim at the Free University of Berlin.

This research drug is killing people around the country. Two teenagers in Grand Forks, N.D. and a 16-year-old boy in Sacramento, Calif., are among the dead. There were seven non-fatal overdoses with the drug reported near Richmond, Virginia.

Source: NOLA

37 thoughts on “N-Bomb: Man Dies At Voodoo Festival In New Orleans From New Lethal Drug

  1. Ah yes, lets all participate in unregulated drug trials. It seems like such a good idea.

    Did you know that strychnine is hallucinogenic? Its true; its a nerve toxin. If you take just enough of it it you will go tripping. How much is just enough? Well that really depends on a lot of things you see. You could just try small amounts till you figure out the correct dose. I suppose you could also just take something some stranger in the park gives you and jam it up your nose. TOE-ma-TOE, ta-MAAT-oh

  2. These drugs will not catch up with willingly done suicides, which are the number one injury cause of death among civilians and among the non-civilian military.

    In the U.S.eh?

  3. AY – there but for the grace of . . . well, whatever the cause I think many of us should be grateful that we have not suffered similarly. I hope you can find peace.

  4. There is something within us all that makes us want to alter our reality @ times. It’s a strong urge in some, medium urge for most, and small for some..the bell curve. In a perfect world no one would want to alter their mental state. But, this is not a perfect world and none of us are immune to this urge. That’s why it makes so much sense to have a very benign, natural, mind altering cannabis be legal. Now, I understand that this type of envelope pushing will always exist, but we need to give young people a legal and safe choice. If you can get them past age 25 or so alive, good chance this tragedy won’t happen.

  5. In his novel Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein wrote:

    Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

    That observation seems particularly appropriate in this instance. Anybody who takes this stuff should be a Darwin Award nominee.

  6. Speaking of drugs and, from Dredd, drugs in the military, this was in my email.

    MILITARY NEWS

    Psycho-Pharma’s Disastrous Chemical Experimentation Within The Military Ending In Sudden Unexplained Deaths:

    Marine Corporal Andrew White And Senior Airman Anthony Mena Were Prescribed A Total Of 54 Drugs Between Them;

    “Andrew’s Real Problems,” Says Shirley White, “Did Not Start Until After He Was Medicated”

    “Tony Didn’t Die From PTSD, He Died From The Combination—Cocktail—Of The Drugs They Gave Him”

    Given that Seroquel was not approved to treat White’s symptoms, and it carried with it all the possible severe side effects White actually complained of, one has to wonder why it was chosen as part of the VA’s mind-altering cocktail.

    The answer may lie in the cozy relationship between top staff at the VA and the pharmaceutical industry.

    October 30, 2012 by Kelly Patricia O’Meara, Citizens Commission on Human Rights

    The devastating adverse effects mind-altering psychiatric drugs may be having on the nation’s military troops are best summed up by Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, writing “nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

    Just as the fictional character, Dr. Frankenstein, turned to experiments in the laboratory to create life with fantastically horrific results, the psychiatric community, along with its pharmaceutical sidekicks, has turned to modern day chemical concoctions to alter the human mind.

    The result is what many believe is a growing number of equally hideous results culminating in senseless deaths, tormented lives and grief-stricken families.

    The nation’s military troops are taking their lives at record numbers and seemingly healthy soldiers are dying from sudden unexplained deaths. That’s a fact.

    The data are clear, yet, despite growing evidence pointing to the enemy among us, the monstrous psycho-pharmacological experiment continues.

    To truly understand the madness that has become the military’s mental health services, one only need review a few cases before the horror of these unorthodox and destructive psycho-pharmacological experiments is exposed.

    Marine corporal Andrew White and Senior Airman Anthony Mena are just two examples of psycho-pharma’s disastrous chemical experimentation.

    Marine Corporal Andrew White was prescribed 19 drugs in less than one year

    White was a healthy 23-year-old, gung-ho Marine returning from a nine-month tour in Iraq, who, like so many of his brothers in arms, suffered from the seemingly normal stresses of war – insomnia, nightmares and restlessness.

    The young corporal turned to the military’s mental health system for help. Within a few short months White became unrecognizable to his family.

    According to Andrew’s mother, Shirley White, “he couldn’t function.” White, explains, “he was a Zombie… it was like we were caring for an elderly person.”

    White’s sudden and shocking decline began shortly after beginning a multi-drug treatment.

    Among the first of the VA’s pharmacological concoctions in March of 2007, White was prescribed Seroquel, or “Serokill” as it is being referred of late, a powerful antipsychotic approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Bi-polar disorder and Schizophrenia, along with the antidepressant, Paxil.

    These mind-altering psychiatric drugs made up the first “sudden change” to White’s mind.

    The off-label prescription of Seroquel (AstraZeneca) carries with it the following adverse reactions: irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, mood changes, panic attacks, insomnia, restlessness and suicidal thoughts or actions. These are just a few of the more than one hundred possible side effects.

    The second part of White’s prescribed pharmacological cocktail was the antidepressant, Paxil, an SSRI approved by the FDA to treat symptoms of PTSD, which also carries its own lengthy list of severe side effects, including restlessness, insomnia and irregular heartbeat—the very symptoms for which White had sought treatment.

    Given that Seroquel was not approved to treat White’s symptoms, and it carried with it all the possible severe side effects White actually complained of, one has to wonder why it was chosen as part of the VA’s mind-altering cocktail.

    The answer may lie in the cozy relationship between top staff at the VA and the pharmaceutical industry.

    Matthew J. Friedman, the executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, and Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Dartmouth Medical School, was on the payroll of AstraZeneca, the maker of Seroquel.

    And, while a consultant to AstraZeneca, Friedman was one of four authors of the American Psychiatric Association’s 2009 Practice Guide for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and PTSD.

    Additionally, as a proponent of SSRI medications to treat PTSD, Friedman also sat on the PTSD Scientific Advisory Boards for GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer—the makers of the antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft.

    Despite Dr. Friedman’s belief that cocktails of mind-altering drugs will “help” those suffering from combat related symptoms, White’s symptoms not only persisted but worsened, and VA, military and civilian psychiatrists returned to their laboratories, ever convinced the next multi-drug elixir would elicit remarkable results.

    Apparently the physicians and psychiatrists caring for White worked from some twisted, mad scientist laboratory mentality that if-this-cocktail-of-five-mind-altering-drugs-doesn’t-work-let’s-try-upping-the-dosage-and-adding-drugs-we-haven’t-tried.

    One “sudden change” to another.

    The problem is the more drugs that were mixed, matched and increased, the worse White’s symptoms became.

    And what was the explanation White’s parents were provided when they questioned Andrew’s doctors about his deteriorating health?

    “We asked his doctors,” says his mother, “but they just said ‘it takes time (for the pills to work).’”

    But time ran out for White when, eleven months after beginning his first cocktail of mind-altering drugs, he died in his sleep from what the medical examiner ruled an “accidental overdose of medication.”

    After reviewing White’s list of prescribed mind-altering drugs, some may seriously wonder if “accident” is a grotesquely distorted word for negligent or, perhaps, criminal?

    Since taking his first multi-drug cocktail to the date of his death, White had been prescribed no less than nineteen different drugs with many at ever-increasing dosages, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety, pain killers and antibiotics.

    The prescribed drugs Methadone, Oxycodone, Paxil and Seroquel were found in his system at the time of death.

    Perhaps more shocking is that White had been prescribed 1600mg of Seroquel—more than double the maximum recommended dose for someone “schizophrenic” or “psychotic.”

    White was neither of these and, yet, the dosage of Seroquel climbed from 20mg to 1600mg over an eleven month period.

    Shirley and Stan White can’t prove it, but they believe it was the cocktail of the high level of Seroquel and another, or several, of the drugs White had been prescribed that caused their son’s death.

    Given the changes that have occurred in the military and VA’s prescribing, there may be some truth to these suspicions.

    In 2009, the FDA expressed worries about Seroquel and, in 2011, the federal agency issued new warnings for the antipsychotic as it “may be associated with sudden cardiac arrest…in some who took high doses of Seroquel.”

    Additionally the concerns about Seroquel, and the sudden unexplained deaths within the military, have not been ignored by the top brass at the Pentagon. In March of this year, U.S. Central Command removed Seroquel from the “approved” formulary, but there’s no guarantee that it won’t still be prescribed.

    White’s parents believe this is a good first step, but more needs to be done to stop the chemical experimentation on the troops.

    “Andrew’s real problems,” says Shirley White, “did not start until after he was medicated.”

    Too many other parents mimic Shirley White’s sentiments, including Pat Mena who suddenly lost her son, Anthony, in July of 2009.

    Senior Airman Anthony Mena was prescribed 35 drugs over an 18 month period

    Twenty-three-year old Anthony (Tony) Mena did two tours in Iraq as part of Kirtland Air Force Base’s 377th Security Forces Squadron. Like so many others returning from combat, Mena suffered from insomnia, restlessness and nightmares—and like White, Mena received treatment from military, VA and civilian doctors.

    Mena also complained of severe back pain and was routinely told by the military and VA doctors that it was “all in his head.” As it turned out, it actually was “all in his back” and when Mena was referred for help outside the military establishment, a very real medical condition was diagnosed by a civilian doctor.

    By this time, however, Mena already had become a victim of the military’s mental health mind-altering multi-drug approach to treatment.

    Between January of 2008 and his death in July 2009, Mena had been prescribed no less than 35 prescription drugs, including numerous antidepressants, pain killers, tranquilizers and muscle relaxers.

    The toxicology report revealed that Mena had nine different prescription medications in his system at the time of his sudden death – Xanax, Ambien, Dilaudid, Fentanyl, Paxil, Remeron, Skelaxin and Desyrel.

    Despite the numerous combinations of mind-altering drugs prescribed to Mena, he did not get “better” but, rather, became another psycho-pharma experiment gone deadly wrong.

    According to Tony’s mother, Pat Mena, “Tony didn’t die from PTSD, he died from the combination—cocktail—of the drugs they gave him. Tony never got better and they tried almost every antidepressant on the market.”

    “None of the drugs,” explains Mena, “helped my son and that’s what I’d tell his doctors. I’d say ‘you gave him a tranquilizer and I don’t see him calm, you gave him an antidepressant and I don’t see him happy and he’d take pain killers and he still had pain.’”

    Like Stan and Shirley White, Tony’s parents repeatedly questioned doctors about the number of drugs their son was taking and were continually assured that the treatment “takes time.”

    But, like White, time ran out for Senior Airman Anthony Mena, and no crazed combination of psycho-pharma’s multi-drug concoctions can turn back the clock.

    Andrew White and Anthony Mena have become part of ever-increasing numbers of young, seemingly healthy soldiers who survived the horrors of war only to return home to fight, and lose, their toughest battle.

    Their deaths were not suicides.

    Rather, they are among a growing list of sudden deaths among military personnel, which many believe is due to sudden cardiac arrest brought on by the drug cocktails being prescribed.

    Fred Baughman Jr., MD has been researching these questionable deaths and believes the few that are known are just the “tip of the iceberg.”

    There have been a number of peer-reviewed papers regarding the increased risks of sudden cardiac arrest deaths associated with antipsychotics and antidepressants.

    Baughman looked into the fatal heart attacks of four soldiers who died in their sleep. All four soldiers were given Seroquel, Paxil and Klonopin for treatment of PTSD — all in their twenties, no signs of suicide or drug overdose. According to Baughman, “antipsychotics and antidepressants alone or in combination, are known to cause Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD).”

    “The drugging in the military doesn’t make any sense,” says Baughman.

    “When we get information from the families,” explains Baughman, “we’re finding that these guys are on five to fifteen different drugs at any one time. If these soldiers are dying from these drugs and the military is refusing to cut back on the drugs, this is scandalous. I think they are just calling these sudden cardiac arrests suicides and I don’t think we’ve begun to see the true numbers.”

    Baughman continues to research SCD data and is working with families whose sons and daughters have fallen victim to the multi-drug cocktail experiment.

    “The military,” says Baughman, “has to come clean on these deaths.” The families of the fallen also want answers and are working to bring the issue to the forefront.

    Both the White and Mena families feel a responsibility to their sons to warn others about their experiences within the military mental health system.

    With the hope that the story of Tony’s downward spiral will help others, Pat Mena has written a book titled, You’ll Be Fine, Darling: Struggling With PTSD After Trauma of War.

    The Whites are vocal opponents of the excessive drugging and have lobbied Congress about the dangers of the psychiatric medications being prescribed to the nation’s troops.

    One can only admire the courage of these families and hope that with their voices fighting on their behalf, other warriors will be spared the nightmare that is this horrific pharmacological experiment.

    The military is a powerful family and they take care of their own.

    Perhaps it is time for them to sever their ties to the psycho-pharma community, reconsider the benefit of modern day pharmacological experimentation and heed the dire warning to Mary Shelley’s, Dr. Frankenstein… “You have created a monster, and it will destroy you.”

  7. It’s one thing for people to voluntarily do stupid things like take drugs from strangers (or even from friends!) but it’s something else entirely when the VA prescribes them to vets looking for help.

  8. Sad Story. There are those of us who wish to alter reality in a way…maybe out of novelty, maybe out of seeking for answers, many for myriad other reasons. But regardless of that desire, we need to be smart in how we ‘get there’

    There is a spate of new synthetic drugs out there…many are not tested (except on the streets) and many are killing people.

    All the while safe, natural drugs such as Marijuana and Psylocibin Mushrooms are as illegal as anything else. When we make drugs that are widely know to be innocous illegal, we’re giving people a false sense that most illegal drugs are actually safe. If we know ‘they’ lie to us about the dangers of pot and shrooms, why can we trust ‘them’ when they tell us other drugs are unsafe?

    BettKath posts about prescriptions, The VA, and all of the soldier who are literally dying trying to find treatment for their PTSD. I’ve experienced what its like to take some of these meds, never at the same time, I can’t imagine being on a ‘cocktail’ of those drugs. It amazes me that some of these drugs can be considered safe… For low grade depression I was given a drug (therapy would have helped far more) and it ended up giving me the only suicidal thoughts I’d had in my life…not so helpful of a drug.

    Psylocibin Mushrooms and Cannabis have both been shown to provide relief from PTSD and other mental ailments… Mushrooms have been shown to have DRAMATIC affect on those suffering from terminal cancers and their mental state… It is time we embrace natural substances for what they can do, not for the stereotype against them.

    When it comes to drugs like this one that is killing people, the only way to avoid it is to allow use of safer alternatives. Its a far more intelligent approach than Prohibition. Think about it, would this drug even exist if mushrooms were legal and easily available? Doubtful.

  9. JC, I suffered PTSD. It was the result of a shooting. The VA has now approved EMDR. I’m not a vet but found a therapist who has treated vets for PTSD. I mentioned it previously here, maybe to you? It does not work for everyone but it worked superbly for me. The anxiety and panic attacks are gone. You need to find someone who has a lot of experience w/ this treatment. It’s as much a craft as it is a science based treatment. I would be happy to help you in your search.

  10. Hi nick, I do recall seeing you mention it, not sure if it was to me or in regards to the general conversation going on.

    I’m not a vet and I don’t have PTSD. I had been diagnosed with dsythemia and have anxiety issues. I was on the prescription rollercoaster for a while, then tried Psylocibin mushrooms. Long story short, I had an experience through which I simply became aware of a new understanding of my emotional state. I became aware that the worst part of my negative mental state was my negative reaction to those negative emotions and that I compounded the problem by those reactions. That simple awareness was the key to overcoming the constent negative attitudinal/emotional state I had been in. I still have anxiety issues, but I have a far better approach to them and get through them rather than succumb to them. I give credit to that natural substance (along with some therapy and meditation) for helping me get through that stage in life.

    I’m acutely aware of how our Veteran’s are treated after coming home, and my experience (along with reading research and anecdotal evidence) tells me that those with PTSD could (and do) benefit greatly from the theraputic use of Psylocibin (cannabis has also been shown effective in certain situations); and it irritates/enrages me that our government continues to make these natural plants illegal to even our own vets who need help, when those plants are proven to help.

    EMDR is another therapy that seems to be working wonders. The only thing that don’t are the FDA approved pharmacueticals…I wonder why.

  11. AY,
    I am sorry for your loss and I hope the anniversary passes without too much additional pain. It is not something that you ever get over entirely.

  12. JC, I applaud you for taking responsibility for you own health. Cary Grant used hallucinogens for depression I believe.The VA has approved cannabis for vets residing in states that have medical cannabis laws. So..the VA approves it and Eric Holder is closing down legal dispensaries. I spend winters in San Diego and it’s been a state of siege the past 18 months. There were ~50 dispensaries in 2010, last I heard there are 4. The mobile dispensaries w/o a brick/mortar seem to be doing better escaping the gestapo. Ah…the government!

  13. “All the while safe, natural drugs such as Marijuana and Psylocibin Mushrooms are as illegal as anything else.”

    JCTBT,

    Amen to that and to the rest of your comment. The stupid drug war makes safe, natural drugs illegal and keeps the bad ones legal.

  14. OS, Well said and obviously from the heart..albeit broken. I never pray for the dead, believing they are @ peace. I pray for you, AY, and all parents who have had a child die. I saw my best friends got through that, their child battled brain cancer and died @ age 4. It led to their divorce, which is all too common. Stay well and strong.

  15. Betty Kath. The Citizens (sic) Commission on Human Rights is a radical hate group bent on the “global destruction of psychiatry”. They’re known for their grossly perverted propaganda such as the idea that Psychiatrists were behind the WWII holocaust rather than the Nazis.

    While I can sympathise with some of the basic issues the CCHR raise, over prescribing of medication being one, the CHHR are to “Big Pharma” watchdog groups what Al-Qeada is to Islam, an over zealous bunch with extremist radical ideas who use dirty tricks and misrepresentations of the truth.

    In short the CCHR are nothing but trouble. They also steal other people’s results claiming them as their own. And they’re also run by that other radical hate group the church of scientology; note that the issues surrounding the church of scientology organisation have nothing to do with the belief system called scientology. Like all dangerous and corrupt organisations the beliefs are simply a nucleous around which the organisation formed. There is a growing number of Independent Scientologists who all say the church of scientology is corrupt, dangerous and that it destroys families and peoples lives.

  16. AY…I’d also like to echo the sentiments of others to you and OS. I cannot imagine.

    Nick…I live in an Upper-Midwestern town, the use of ‘drugs’ is stigmatized heavily, while at the same time our town is a purported craft-brewery lover’s haven. Now, I love me a good micro-brew, but its funny how one substance can be a tourist attraction while another is the root of evil…even funnier when the evidence suggests we’ve screwed up which one is good and which one is bad. Needless to say, we have no dispensaries.

    I’m hoping the 3 state legalization initiatives pass and we continue to move forward with pragmatic solutions…this can only lead to the doors of research opening up to help us achieve the full potential of natural substances. And tying back to the original story, we’d be a lot less likely to have to hear about overdoses of synthetic toxins hiding as drugs.

  17. This anecdote certainly convinces me, as I’m sure it does many others, of the need to increase the budget of local and federal drug warriors, and as well, to ignore whiny ACLU types that complain about framing people, entrapping people, no-knock laws, and all the rest. After all, there’s a war going on.

  18. bill mcw, Yes, we have many wars going on right now. If you’re referring specifically to the war on drugs, it’s the longest next to the Korean “war”. Prohibition led to the creation of organized crime. The war on drugs has led to organized and brutal drug cartels. It’s time to end the wars – all of them.

  19. This drug class has strong recreational appeal, but like similar drugs is made particularly dangerous by government policy that forbids open production without FDA approval. This means that manufacturing and distribution are driven underground into criminal channels, with the consumer left to guess at quality, purity, strength, interactions and safe dosing.

    The fact that even well tolerated and studied soft drugs like MDMA and marijuana are still specifically outlawed (25I-NBOMe is not scheduled, except in Virginia), drives users into these expensive, risky alternatives.

    It is my hope that voters in Colorado, Washington and Oregon pass drug legalization initiatives tomorrow in the same way that the states first abandoned federal Prohibition in the 1920’s. If these initiatives pass one possible outcome is that the federal government would radically expand DEA policing in these states, although without local police cooperation and referrals enforcement for smaller drug crimes would always be very challenging. I think it more likely that over time the federal government will ultimately choose regulation and taxation of these products.

  20. This drug has strong recreational appeal, but like similar drugs is made particularly dangerous by government policy that forbids open production without FDA approval. This means that manufacturing and distribution are driven underground into criminal channels, with the consumer left to guess at quality, purity, strength, interactions and safe dosing.

    The fact that even well tolerated and studied soft drugs like MDMA and marijuana are still specifically outlawed (25I-NBOMe is not scheduled, except in Virginia), drives users into these expensive, risky alternatives.

    It is my hope that voters in Colorado, Washington and Oregon pass drug legalization initiatives tomorrow in the same way that the states first abandoned federal Prohibition in the 1920’s. If these initiatives pass one possible outcome is that the federal government would radically expand DEA policing in these states, although without local police cooperation and referrals enforcement for smaller drug crimes would always be very challenging. I think it more likely that over time the federal government will ultimately choose regulation and taxation of these products.

  21. This is a nightmare for his family no doubt, but it was undoubtedly a call they had feared for many years. Clayton was a good man, he was also a flawed person just like each and every one of us. His weaknesses consumed him too early in his life, but the audacity of those who think they are immune from the consequences of human frailty may be humbled when the truth of their own imperfections confront them.There is a prevent western religion which purports to admonish its followers to never judge and forgive infinitely. God knows that nonsense has nothing to do with Christianity.

    What bothers me most about this sad story is that it was a homicide, but strangely it isn’t reported as such. Although Clayton agreed to take the drug, he did not administer it to himself. By way of analogy, if a man asked someone to shoot him in the head, then in compliance with that request the accomplice complied, then shot the victim in his brain, would the criminal implications be in doubt? How is this different?

    The extremely rapid death also makes me question the nature of the chemical administered. But that question is up to the medical examiners.

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