Kansas City Teen Charged in Death Caused by Synthetic Drugs

Worried about your teen using synthetic drugs? It turns out that Kansas City teenagers aren’t just trying synthetic substances — they’ve also been caught supplying them to other teens. And in the case of synthetic drugs, the consequences can be fatal.

On January 15, 2014, Krista Meeks was charged with involuntary manslaughter in addition to a previous charge of distribution of synthetic drugs. The Platte County resident is only 17 years old.

Synthetic Drugs & Teens in Kansas City

Test Smartly Labs | Kansas City Teen Charged in Death Caused by Synthetic DrugsThe case against Meeks began on Friday, October 4 when 15-year-old Ethan Rickman died after taking tainted synthetic drugs. Rickman and a 14-year-old friend purchased acid from Meeks. After returning to a home in Parkville, MO, Rickman and his friend ingested the synthetic drugs. Rickman died as a result, while his friend survived.

Upon arrest, Meeks claimed she got her supply of synthetic drugs from a Kansas City, KS manufacturer. Law enforcement seized 1,800 more units of the same drug that killed Rickman from Meeks’ home.

411 on Synthetic Drugs: What is Acid?

One of the most dangerous synthetic drugs, acid is also known as CID, and it attempts to replicate the effects of LSD. Like most synthetic drugs, it’s homemade and often sold on the internet. This makes it harder to know what ingredients are used in its production — and they could include toxic substances such as rat poison or bleach. The compounds included in these synthetic drugs don’t include any illegal drugs, but when combined the chemical ingredients can be deadly. Even Meeks knew about the dangers of the drug — according to detectives, she said she wouldn’t try it because she knew fatalities could result.

Educating Kids on Synthetic Drugs

As manufacturers discover new variants and chemical combinations to create synthetic drugs, they change — almost on a weekly basis. That’s why it’s key for parents — not just in Kansas City but nationwide — to educate their kids on the dangers of synthetic drugs.

When discussing synthetic drugs with your teen, share these facts:

  • Though the synthetic drugs may succeed at producing a hallucinogenic high, the toxins contained within can destroy a body from the inside out.
  • Side effects of synthetic drugs can vary widely in their medical severity and can include seizures, foaming at the mouth, and violent convulsions — so violent that a teen may be unable to control their body and could severely injure themselves in the process.
  • In some cases, teens who use synthetic drugs can die, or land in the hospital with their skin eaten from the inside out.

Kansas City Attempts Prosecution of Synthetic Drugs

Although the link to Meeks and the synthetic drugs was clear, it was still difficult for the Platte County prosecutors to press manslaughter charges against her. That’s because the individual compounds used to make synthetic drugs are not illegal, so it’s more difficult to prosecute producers and distributors. Even when a new ingredient is deemed illegal, the drug makers find other compounds to use in production. That’s why law enforcement is pressing Missouri legislators to make a more comprehensive list of illegal compounds.

Upon conviction, Meeks can be sentenced up to seven years in prison.

Worried Your Teen is Using Synthetic Drugs?

If you suspect that your teen may be using illegal substances, including synthetic drugs, Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City can help. Our walk-in laboratory offers quick, reliable, and confidential drug testing, including screening for synthetic drugs. Call us today at (816) 875-0464 to learn more about our drug testing.

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