On March 11, 2020, a woman by the name of Tanya Suarez was arrested for being under the influence. On May 6, 2019, taken to Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee on. She admitted to doing drugs in her hotel room with her friend. Soon after her arrest, she began to experience paranoia and delusions. The state that would soon lead her to gouge out her own eye. She was left in her cell in a delusional state. She began to scratch at her eyes and soon attempted to remove her left eye.
Tanya Suarez was under the influence of meth and was suffering from heavy mental hallucinations. Methamphetamine is a man-made nerve stimulant that affects the brain and has long-lasting effects on the psyche of the brain. Like many nerve stimulants, it opens up the floodgates of neurotransmitters that lead to extreme euphoric effects. This drug is often made with ingredients that are potentially toxic such as battery acid or drain cleaner.
A toxic substance created by toxic components leads to toxic effects. Effects such as decreased white matter, meth bugs, levels of dopamine transporters, increased glutamate calcium in the brain, and neurotoxic effects. The term meth bugs refer to a psychiatric condition where chronic methamphetamine users have a sensation that their skin is crawling or itching with bugs even though no external stimulation is occurring. A terrifying group of symptoms, which led Suarez to attempt to remove her eye.
Nurses tackled her and handcuffed her. They trimmed her acrylic nails leaving them with a jagged edge. She was moved to a suicide safety cell and the handcuffs were removed. She was left to her own devices and proceeded to finish what she started. Suarez recalls the last thing she saw was a camera in the upper corner of the cell. She pulled out both of her eyes after being convinced she was going to be tortured.
Repeated meth use could upset the natural chemical balance of the brain causing permanent damage. Other long term effects also include organ damage, heart problems, and infectious diseases. This leaves the individual open to more diseases and sicknesses that the average person is not affected by on a day to day basis.
One obvious lesson here could be, “don’t do drugs”, which is completely true. Another lesson to be learned is to take care of your eyes. Suarez’s final comment in her interview was that she missed being able to see and her freedom. Don’t allow substance abuse or addiction to leave you in such a state. Don’t allow it to take your freedom. Don’t allow it to take your eyes. Keep clean, keep safe, keep sane, keep your freedom, and keep your senses.