Synthetic Drug Use Among Teens: A Growing Problem Nationwide

Though we wish the news this time of year with the start of summer was fun and bright, there is nothing joyful about synthetic drug use — especially when it comes to the death of adolescents.

It’s happened before in Kansas City, and now, other towns, states, and parents are undergoing the misfortune of teen death and overdose due to synthetic drugs.

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

American Teens Experimenting With Synthetic Drug Use

North Dakota

Though it may come across like a pretty quiet place to live to outsiders, North Dakota has witnessed its part of suffering no thanks to teen synthetic drug use.

In June 2012, two teens, college-bound 18-year-old Christian Bjerk and 17-year-old Elijah Stai from Park Rapids, Minnesota were both killed due to synthetic drug use. Both teens had tried synthetic drugs 2C-I-NBOM and 2C-C-NBOMe, both manufactured to impersonate the high of the psychedelic drug LSD. Both are so strong that one tiny dose — the same size as a few grains of salt — is sufficient to yield a high. This consist of powerful hallucinations and can consequence in hazardous reactions to the drug, like foaming at the mouth, organ failure, and cardiac arrest — as in Stai’s death.


In these last few years, teens in Florida have been ingesting synthetic drugs to their detriment. In early December last year, one teen overdosed from taking artificial LSD, formally named 25i-NBOMe.

According to specialists, the compounds found in these synthetic drugs — NBOMe — are more powerful than other hallucinogenics, so even the most minimal quantity can result in cardiac or respiratory arrest, seizures, violent actions, disorientation, and death.

Thankfully, in the case above, the drug didn’t result in a fatal outcome for the Florida teen, and law enforcement was able to recognize and apprehend 5 people in linking with his overdose. They also located and seized more quantities of the drug during the captures, along with marijuana, molly, hash, and butane hash oil.

Fighting Synthetic Drug Use

These aren’t the only cases that display the threat of synthetic drug usage. From Minnesota to California to Alaska to Texas, all corners of our nation have experienced a catastrophe due to synthetic drugs. Law enforcement and public health officials are dedicated to combating synthetic drug use, but producers are likewise devoted to locating loopholes in the law and new ways to produce these hazardous substances.

As a parent, you can do your part to fight synthetic drug use by educating your teenagers about what these drugs can do. You can also visit Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City for accurate, confidential drug testing, assisting you to verify if your teen has used synthetic drugs or if they’re remaining clean.


Test Smartly Labs provides accurate, confidential DNA tests. To learn more about our DNA Testing Services, contact Test Smartly Labs today at (816) 800-9699. We have five lab locations in the greater Kansas City area!

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