Published On:Wednesday, February 6, 2013
One of the newest forms of synthetic marijuana, 2C-I or “Smiles” has been linked to several deaths. The hallucinogen’s use is made possible by distribution of the experimental drug before it is declared illegal. Much like K-2, research is not well distributed and the intense side effects are not well known among teenagers.
2C-I is closely related to other 2C drugs that are known for their psychedelic effects. 2C-I is in the process of being made illegal, and possession, manufacturing, buying, and selling the controlled substance will have legal consequences.
Unlike K-2, “Smiles” is usually sold as a powder or tablet. Usually, the powder will be mixed with food and then eaten to induce hallucinations and relaxation. The drug has been also known to affect breathing, which was the case in one related death of a 17-year-old boy who had mixed the drug with some chocolate given to him by friends.
Other deaths involve stroke or issues with the heart that arise from the drug use. “Smiles” is closely related to Amphetamines, which affect the cardiovascular system, including the heart. This can cause heart arrhythmia's, which can be fatal. Other side effects include vomiting and nausea. As with many hallucinogens, “Smiles” users are also subject to “bad trips” where the vision and auditory hallucinations become terrifying and create panic. Unlike many illegal hallucinogenic drugs found on the market, such as LSD, immediate harm can be seen throughout the body making the drug very dangerous.
2C drugs cause the hallucinations by altering the brain’s serotonin system, which is also why some experience a relaxing sensation before or after the more intense side effects occur. The stimulants work in a similar way as meth, which also affect the brain’s function. This can lead to strokes and other issues with permanent brain function as a result of using the drug. These types of affects are not limited to prolonged use and could occur the first time the drug is introduced into the system.
The DEA is still doing testing on the drug use and until that is complete; most users will have little or no knowledge of what they are purchasing. There is a lack of statistics on the drug use, so it is unknown how widespread “Smiles” is and how it is being obtained. While it is commonly believed that all drugs have similar effects, people need to be aware that untested chemicals may have unwanted adverse effects they were not expecting.
Hayley is a drug counselor, author and blogger residing in Florida. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance addiction, visit www.delrayrecoverycenter.com.