Synthetic Drug Use Among Teens a Growing Problem Nationwide

Though we wish all news this time of year were merry and bright, unfortunately, there is nothing joyful about synthetic drug use — especially when it results in the death of teenagers.

It’s happened before in Kansas City, and now, other cities, states, and parents are experiencing the tragedy of teen fatality and overdose due to synthetic drugs.

Here’s what KC parents need to know about the spread of synthetic drugs.

American Teens Experimenting With Synthetic Drug Use

North Dakota

Though it may seem like a rather calm place to live to outsiders, North Dakota has seen its share of trauma thanks to teen synthetic drug use.

In June 2012, two teens, college-bound 18-year-old Christian Bjerk and 17-year-old Elijah Stai of Park Rapids, Minnesota were both killed due to synthetic drug use. Both teens has tried synthetic drugs 2C-I-NBOM and 2C-C-NBOMe, both manufactured to mimic the high of hallucinogenic LSD. Both are so powerful that one small dose — the same size as a few grains of salt — is enough to produce a high. This includes strong hallucinations and can result in dangerous reactions to the drug, like foaming at the mouth, organ failure, and cardiac arrest — as in Stai’s death.

Synthetic DrugsFlorida

As recently as this month, teens in Florida have been taking synthetic drugs to their detriment. In early December, one teen overdosed from taking synthetic LSD, officially named 25i-NBOMe.

According to experts, the compounds found in these synthetic drugs — NBOMe — are more powerful than other hallucinogenics, so even the smallest amount can result in cardiac or respiratory arrest, seizures, violent behaviors, disorientation, and fatality.

Thankfully, in the case above, the Florida teen did not die, and law enforcement was able to identify and arrest 5 people in connection with his overdose. They also seized more doses of the drug during the arrests, along with marijuana, molly, hash, and butane hash oil.

Fighting Synthetic Drug Use

These aren’t the only cases that show the danger of synthetic drug use. From Minnesota to California to Alaska to Texas, every corner of our nation has experienced a tragedy due to synthetic drugs. Law enforcement and public health officials seem committed to combating synthetic drug use, but manufacturers are equally committed to finding loopholes in the law and new ways to produce these dangerous substances.

As a parent, you can do your part to combat synthetic drug use by teaching your teen about what these drugs can do. You can also visitTest Smartly Labs of Kansas City for accurate, confidential drug testing, helping you verify if your teen has used synthetic drugs or if they’re staying clean. Call us today at (816) 875-0464 to learn more about our drug testing in Kansas City.


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