“Smiles” not as happy as it seems
A new synthetic drug, known as “N-bomb” or “Smiles,” has suddenly made an appearance in the St. Louis county area, most recently in Wildwood. “N-bomb,” named for its main chemical composition, 2C-I-NBOMe or 25INBOMe, is a powerful hallucinogen that is similar to LSD in its effect.
“This drug is new to Missouri in general and it’s believed to have started in Virginia,” Preferred Family Healthcare representative and School Team Coordinator, Mandy Wortmann said.
Users experience hallucinations, uncontrollable body movements and the sight of bright lights. It has already caused deaths in California, Louisians, Minnesota, North Dakota and Virginia.
“People are dying because no one knows enough about it. Since it’s manmade it’s been causing more physical problems than non-synthetic drugs, which is why deaths have occurred,” Wortmann said.
As of right now, the “N-bomb” is currently legal in Missouri because it is new to the area.
“It can’t be made illegal until we know what exactly is in it,” School Resource Officer Scott Scoggins said.
Scoggins was sent an email giving information about the drug’s appearance, symptoms and treatment. The goal is prevention but there is no way to predict how people will react if confronted with the “N-bomb.”
“Students who encounter it need to tell somebody; we don’t want it in our community,” Wortmann said.
There are three main ways the “N-bomb” shows up; in liquid form, in a powder that is often mixed in drinks or absorbed into blotter paper like LSD. It is harmful in any form. Anyone who encounters this drug should avoid it and notify a parent and the police if ingested, and seek immediate medical attention. If ingested people will know by their uncontrolled body movements and sudden sensitivity to lights and sounds.
“As with any drug, it’s all about prevention. I go into classes for presentations and talk with parents in an effort to inform people so that they make informed decisions,” Wortmann said.
Wortmann is present at lunch on most Wednesdays at the table right inside cafeteria with general information to encourage healthy behaviors and early intervention. She has also presented to health as well as some science classes, so many students may have already met her.
“My goal is to give students information so that they can make informed choices,” Wortmann said. “Life is all about choices and you have to live with the consequences of those choices.”