New Candy Designer Drug Hits The Streets In NJ [AUDIO]
A new designer drug that is often mixed with candy has made its way to the East Coast and its been linked to teen overdoses across the country.
Its called 2CI or "smiles" on the street. Its a relatively new drug with effects that have been called a combination of LSD and ecstasy, only far more potent.
"It can cause elevated heart rate, high body temperature, all those effects of ecstasy and when combined with an altered mental state can have dangerous side effects" said Steven Liga, at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Middlesex County.
Johnny Lewis, the "Sons of Anarchy" actor who allegedly killed his landlady before falling to his death, may have been taking "smiles" at the time of his death and two North Dakota teen deaths have also been linked to the drug.
"I've been noticing a number of tags under bridges and on walls that say "smiles," and then when I heard about the drug it made perfect sense" said Liga.
2CI first surfaced in Europe in 2003 and only recently made its way to the U.S. The drug is often mixed with a substance like chocolate before eating. Side effects include auditory and visual hallucinations.
One of the 18 year old North Dakota boys was reportedly hyperventilating and hitting his head against the wall before his death.
"This is dangerous stuff we're talking about here, we have no idea what is in this drug, how much of a certain chemical, what else it might be mixed with" said Liga.
New Jersey is only the 4th state in the nation to have a broad ban on synthetic drugs that includes hundreds of possible chemical compounds, making it illegal to buy, sell or manufacture the drug.
"We are staying one step ahead of these chemists, because even if, when the law was passed, 2CI didn't exist, it's automatically illegal now because of the chemical compounds in it" said Liga.