Synthetic Drugs: K2, Bath Salts, now…”Smiles”?

Parents of teens and young adults will want to know about this…. News of another synthetic drug called Smiles is linked to recent deaths. There are reports that Smiles is the newest in a wave of designer drugs to hit smoke shops, convenience stores and internet marketplaces. Just a few months ago, the deaths of two North Dakota teens in the same town were associated. This week, Sons of Anarchy star Johnny Lewis is believed to have been under the influence of the drug when he murdered his landlady and then committed suicide.

The Smiles drug has been one of many designer drugs to follow in the footsteps of bath salts and K2 synthetic marijuana products. A refined white powder, the drug can be taken in capsule form, eaten or snorted. Internet reports state that users commonly mix the Smiles powder with chocolate or candy prior to ingesting it. It causes hallucinations and a euphoric state that resembles stimulants like methamphetamine. In some cases, the effects can last for days. It’s most popular amongst high school, college kids and young clubbers.

Paranoia, anxiety, panic and nausea have been reported amongst users, along with a potential loss of consciousness. The DEA has banned the drug, known to G-men as “2C-1″, but right now, use is continuing to rise. Fueled by misinformation spread by kids in chatrooms and social media sites, many naive partiers are scrambling to get their hands on it. Initially available on shelves in the stereotypical “not for human consumption” labels, distribution is now most commonly seen through black market dealers and white-envelope internet deliveries.