Overdoses of synthetic drug 'Smiles' on the rise for teens - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Overdoses of synthetic drug 'Smiles' on the rise for teens

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WASHINGTON -

Forget about bath salts. "Smiles" or 2C-I is the new synthetic drug of choice in this country.

The feds just classified it as an illegal drug this summer. Fatal overdoses are on the rise.

"At the moment, I am completely and fully submerged," says a guy calling himself toker90704 on YouTube. "If you can't tell by my eyes, in a psychedelic world known as 2C-I."

He posted the video on the Internet claiming he was high on 2C-I.

"I've never had this kind of experience before."

In North Dakota, 18-year-old Adam Budge is charged with the murder of his 17-year-old friend, Elijah Stai. He overdosed on 2C-I mixed with chocolate.

Police in East Grand Forks say Stai was foaming at the mouth and banging his head on the ground outside a McDonald's restaurant before he died.

"It's happening all over," says Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, Executive Director of the Alexandria-based National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. "It is what kids are using. They don't understand that these are not fun drugs."

She says the overdose that killed the 17-year-old in North Dakota is fairly typical.

"You get someone who probably took a higher dose than what is typical on the street - 10 to 20 milligrams," says Moreno Tuohy. "This person probably had a dose that was higher than that, that actually caused the brain to shut down the respiratory system. We need to just be aware that these are chemicals that are toxic and they're not safe at any age, but particularly for adolescents."

"Smiles" is just one of the family of 2C drugs, first concocted by a California chemist in the 1970s.

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