“A newer drug:” Drug enforcement agents tracking synthetic acid “N-bomb,” trying to stop its spread

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EAU CLAIRE (WITI) -- It's a new drug with some extreme side effects -- and it's showing up in Wisconsin schools. Law enforcement officials say it's pretty easy for your kids to get their hands on it.

In West Central Wisconsin sits the quiet city of Eau Claire. More than 65,000 people work and live in the city surrounded by hills and rivers. Eau Claire is now on the map due to something called "N-bomb" or "Smiles." It's a small piece of paper that's proving to be a big concern for parents and school officials.

"To someone who wasn't familiar with it, you wouldn't know what it is. Each one of these is classified as a dose. It's very concealable, very easy to hide," said Eau Claire Police Officer, Jesse Henning.

It's called 25D-NBOMe -- and it's synthetic acid.

"This was a newer drug," said Henning.

In December of 2014, it showed up in at least one Eau Claire-area high school.

"I hadn't investigated any cases with this drug before," said Henning.

Investigators say four Eau Claire North High School students were found to be in possession of the hallucinogen.

"We found out it was being sold, not only during the school day, but likely outside of school," said Henning.

Police say it is a powerful drug with more dangerous and unpredictable side effects.

"It similarly mimics some of the affects of what a person would get from using LSD -- hallucinations, vomiting, paranoia. There's several," said Henning.

The synthetic drug that's geared toward young people has the Drug Enforcement Agency paying close attention.

"It's at least five to eight times more potent than LSD. It's just one of many new designer drugs we're seeing on the market," said DEA Special Agent, Scott Albrecht.

Many times, those designer drugs are sold before U.S. laws can catch up.

"They just change a molecule or two to try to circumvent the laws that are on the books," said Albrecht.

Cracking down on the creators can be difficult. The drugs are often made in labs overseas and sold online.

Law enforcement officials say the biggest risk may be there is no consistency in dosage, and no clear chemical recipe in each hit.

"What we call N-bomb could be one of 30 different hallucinogens," said Albrecht.

The blotter papers can be colorful and playful, often marketed toward the younger user. As the synthetic drugs become more popular, so does the effort to fight them.

"They're going to be pretty persistent at finding the next thing. We'll be just as persistent to cut it off," said Albrecht.

In Eau Claire, police continue to track N-bomb.

"As it shows itself more in the area, we'll learn more about it. We will become better at investigating it," said Andy Falk, with the West Central Drug Task Force.

"We haven't had any other cases of it in our district and we're hoping it stays that way," said Henning.

As difficult as it may be, law enforcement officials are trying to make sure an incident at the high school in Eau Claire does not turn into a much larger problem.

Several "N-bomb" overdoses have been reported nationwide. Last January, a Minnesota teen died after taking the synthetic acid at a sleepover. Five teens, whom police say gave her the drug, have been charged with her death.

3 comments

  • Eric

    This dangerous drug never would have been created had the much safer LSD never been prohibited. This game of wack-a-mole with new and often times dangerous substances being invented every week is a direct result of prohibitionist policies.

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