3 New Synthetic Drugs to Watch Out For

synthetic drug

If you are a parent and are concerned about keeping your kids off drugs, you will of course be telling them not to smoke pot, not to inject heroin and not to snort cocaine. You might even be on the ball and know to warn your children against the nonmedical use of painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as the abuse of ADHD stimulant drugs including Ritalin and Adderall. Would you know, however, about “Smiles” or “Ice”? How about 4-Methylaminorex or 2CE? Increasingly, synthetic drugs are being found in the hands of young people across the United States. In fact, synthetic marijuana, referred to commonly as Spice or K2, was the second most popular drug among American high school students last year. Here are the details on three of the newest synthetic drugs:


In March of this year, Narconon issued a warning about the most recent arrival on the synthetic drug scene, 4-methyl-euphoria, which is also known as 4-Methylaminorex, 4-MAR, 4-MAX, U4Euh (“Euphoria”) or Ice. The drug has been reported to have caused 26 deaths to date, and has spread across large sections of Europe. It has not yet been found in the United States, but given the way in which other synthetic drugs have made their way here, it can be expected that 4-methyl-euphoria will most likely arrive here before long. It is a stimulant drug with effects similar to methamphetamine, and as such it is highly dangerous and potentially addictive. Cases of fatal overdose have been reported with the users suffering from complications ranging from agitation to breathing problems, to foaming at the mouth to cardiac arrest.


synthetic hallucinogens on blotter paper

The drug known as NBOMe is more commonly referred to as N-Bomb or simply as Smiles. It has been found to be at fault in at least 19 deaths in the United States, and it is possible to suffer a fatal overdose with as little as one usage of the drug. NBOMe is a hallucinogenic drug, similar to LSD or mescaline, and it is typically consumed by dissolving blotter papers soaked in a liquid solution of the drug. These blotters are often decorated with friendly and brightly colored designs, making this powerfully dangerous drug seem friendly and safe, neither of which is true. NBOMe was recently added to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I, a list of the most dangerous and potentially addictive drugs known. The goal of placing it under such heavy restriction is to keep this drug out of the hands of young people. Even possession of NBOMe is now punishable as a felony.


A hallucinogen like NBOMe, 2CE is so powerful that it has been found to cause hallucinations lasting in some cases for as long as 24 hours straight. Accompanying these hallucinations may be symptoms including a rapid heartbeat and elevated body temperatures, conditions that can become dangerous and harmful when they persist for as long as 24 hours at a stretch. Upon its first appearance on the market, 2CE was legal, a fact that made it highly attractive to people looking for a way to get high without running the risk of ending up on the wrong side of the law. The fact that it was legal, however, did not mean that it was safe, and many people have fallen into the trap of trying 2CE only to find out from personal experience just how dangerous it is. This drug was originally developed by Alexander Shulgin, the chemist responsible for the development of MDMA, also known as ecstasy. It has been described as being among the most intense hallucinogenic drugs in terms of the power and vividness of the hallucinations that it produces. Since 2012, 2CE has been a Schedule I drug, so it can be hoped that it will become less widespread than it was previously.



Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.