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Medical Examiner: 24-year-old man died as a result of using designer drug

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says a 24-year-old man died as a result of using a designer drug at a house party back in May of 2012.

The Medical Examiner's report indicates Douglas Peters died as a result of using methoxetamine -- a synthetic designer drug.

According to the Medical Examiner's office, methoxetamine is a designer drug with structural similarities to ketamine and PCP. The effects are reported to be similar to other abused dissociative anesthetics.  Street names include M-KET, Kmazx, and Mexxy.  The drug can be found in a powder form that can be taken nasally, orally, injected or placed on the tongue.

Methoxetamine is uncontrolled in the United States.  This means it is generally considered legal to buy, possess and distribute (sell, trade or give).  

"Most of these designer drugs will just show up, and no one will know anything about it," Dr. Mark Kostic with the Wisconsin Poison Center said.

Kostic says these drugs are becoming a bigger problem.

"It's a perceived safety and availability. These things are very easy to come by relatively because you can just order them through the computer, and we have them sent to you," Dr. Kostic said.

The Medical Examiner's report stated that officers spoke with the homeowner, who is a DJ and said a party was occurring in the residence on the night of Peters' death. Partygoers reportedly noticed Peters passed out on a second story balcony, and carried him up to the third floor, where he was placed on a futon. The homeowner said she checked on Peters and found him to be snoring. 

Later, partygoers alerted the homeowner that something was wrong, and 911 was called. 

Partygoers reportedly told officials Peters had used Ketamine. 

Peters' mother told officials she had contact with Peters the night he died, and he had mentioned his boyfriend had broken up with him, but seemed in good spirits. Peters' mother said he had been having financial problems and was close to getting kicked out of the place he had been staying. 

Peters' mother told officials she didn't know Peters to use drugs, but said he had used ecstasy in the past.

"Death can occur, especially if it's combined with another substance, or so much of the drug was taken," Dr. Kostic said.

Dr. Kostic says typically, these designer drugs don't cause death, however, combined with alcohol, the sedative effects could cause respiratory failure. 

Currently, three states are trying to make this drug illegal, but Wisconsin is not one of them.