“What did I miss?” Parents warn of deadly high following son’s death

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Synthetic pot is the latest drug being marketed to teens over the Internet. It's a chemical brew that is legal, but can be fatal.

"My son was the light my life," said Deanna Dyer, mother of Dakota Dyer.

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Dakota Dyer died just days after using synthetic marijuana.

According to Deanna, Dakota was full of life and promise. But, Deanna and her husband Lance had their lives shattered when they came home to find their youngest child and only son had shot himself.

"What did I miss? What red flag did I not see as a father?" Lance Dyer wondered.

"Never saw signs, never saw symptoms, never saw anything," Deanna said.

A review of the 14-year-old's Facebook posts and text messages show Dakota was planning to try synthetic marijuana just says before he died.

"When you can have a normal, happy, popular, loved life child die and within hours just change his perception of the world?" Deanna said.

The Dyers are just one of dozens of parents whose children have died or were seriously harmed after using some form of synthetic drug.

"The drug can act differently with different people. One person can take it and they are OK. Another person can take the exact same drug and they have a psychotic episode and can’t deal with reality," Deanna said.

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Synthetic marijuana comes in a variety of packaging, which can make it difficult for parents to know what their children are buying.

This so-called fake pot is created with various chemical compounds and is designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Officials say it is commonly marketed under names like "K2" or "Bob's Bud." The drugs — marketed over the internet and social media — come in colorful packaging adorned with cartoons and sometimes labeled as incense. Many parents have no idea what their kids are buying.

"After the loss of my son, I would definitely, definitely, even though I didn't have a reason to, I would monitor. Monitor cell phone activity, monitor social media," Deanna said.

"It's not to invade your child privacy, it's protecting your child," Lance said.

U.S. Postal Inspectors say they're seeing more of these cases as children purchase the drugs over the internet and receive them in mail.

"Don't assume that is not a dangerous substance. In the end, it is likely to be chemicals imported from China to people who have no idea what the substances are and you have no idea what these chemicals will be when they are ingested into your body," U.S.  Postal Inspector John Bailey said.

Manufacturers are constantly coming up with new chemical formulas to get around federal and state laws. The Dyer family is pushing for a nationwide law that would ban all forms of synthetic pot and prosecute those who make it. While some are being made in some cities and states, including in Wisconsin, the Dyer's say strong federal laws is needed to help law enforcement stay ahead of chemists trying to dodge the law.

10 comments

  • ET BK

    Synthetic “weed” has ingredients like Damiana and Passionflower… Herbal ingredients w similar makeup as Valerian root and Kava Kava (both legal). They are relaxants, NOT psychedelics. He may have had a psychotic break due to a mental illness, or been experimenting with other mind-altering substances…you just don’t know…

    • adam weiland

      It’s not the actual flowers or herbs that’s in it that messes people up, its the chemicals that are sprayed on these herbs (you don’t know about) that is messing people up. Research your facts more before posting something like that!

  • Shame Shame

    Well no one has ever died by just smoking pot. So instead of having that available, kids are going to things that are “legal” but lethal. What happened to the day where kids shared a j in the park and went home at night to bed. Now i’m not saying we should let kids smoke pot regularly, but its a much safe alternative. And we all know kids are going to explore trying to get high, why don’t we do it in a safer way.

  • Mr. Bob

    “What did I miss? What red flag did I not see as a father?” Lance Dyer wondered. “Never saw signs, never saw symptoms, never saw anything,” Deanna said. “After the loss of my son, I would definitely, definitely, even though I didn’t have a reason to, I would monitor. Monitor cell phone activity, monitor social media,” Deanna said. “It’s not to invade your child privacy, it’s protecting your child,” Lance said. Wow folks, those 3 comments by the parents say it all. Now that our child is dead, I would do things differently to protect my child. Totally clueless parents. Too late Lance…

  • Mr. Bob

    The Dyer family is pushing for a nationwide law that would ban all forms of synthetic pot and prosecute those who make it. While some are being made in some cities and states, including in Wisconsin, the Dyer’s say strong federal laws is needed to help law enforcement stay ahead of chemists trying to dodge the law. Their push for this new law is to make up for the fact they were bystander parents and didn’t watch over their kid…

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