St. Louis County Police are warning parents and teens about a new sythentic drug called "N-Bomb" that is already responsible for deaths in several states.
The name stems from its chemical composition, 2C-I-NBOMe or 25INBOMe, and police say it is a powerful hallucinogen that is a more potent and deadly derivative of mescaline. It has been reportedly responsible for fatal overdoses in California, North Dakota, Minnesota, Lousiana and Virginia.
St. Louis County Police said the substance has been purchased undercover in the metro area by drug detectives. Chief Tim Fitch said it's important for the public to be aware about the dangerous nature of this relatively new drug.
Effects of the drug are similar to LSD and include hallucinations, impairment of perception to sound and depth, and uncontrollable body movements.
The statement from law enforcement was partly in response to a Chesterfield mother who said she believes her teenage daughter was offered N-Bomb at a New Year's Eve Party in Wildwood and nearly overdosed as a result.
Sgt. Mark Whitson with the St. Louis County's Bureau of Drug Enforcement said his agency and its local and federal counterparts are working together to discover what they can about N-Bomb, but said it's relatively new to the area.
It first surfaced in online references in 2010 and various state crime labs only started getting a hold of the substance in 2012. Several news reports linking deaths to N-Bomb have also appeared in the last few years.
Whitson wouldn't confirm if the agency has any active investigations, but said county police and other law enforcement organisations will continue to share resources as they develop an approach on how to combat the synthetic substance, which, for now, remains legal.
In the Chesterfield area, Capt. Steven Lewis with the Chesterfield Police Department said they have not dealt with any cases involving N-Bomb yet. He added that to his knowledge, drug cases are down overall.
To combat illegal drug use, Lewis said the department employs various drug education/prevention programs along with two officers assigned to undercover narcotics investigations, as well as patrol officers and their normal response to drug investigations.