“N-Bomb” Drug Link to Teen Deaths: Part 2

This is part two of the story. Read the first half.

How People Take N-Bomb

N-Bomb or 25I is often sold on strips of blotter paper, which is one of the reasons users often erroneously assume it’s LSD.  The strip of paper is placed under the tongue, which allows the drug to enter the bloodstream sublingually. N-Bomb is also available as a powder.  Users can snort the powder like cocaine, smoke it, or mix it with a liquid and inject it like heroin.   Some users combine it with water in a nasal spray bottle to administer via the nose.  Vaporizing and then inhaling the drug is another method of administration used by some, but it makes controlling the dose very precarious.

When the drug is taken orally or sublingually, the effects generally last between 6-10 hours.  Those who inhale or snort the drug will generally experience its effects for a shorter period, ranging from 4-6 hours.  This can vary though, depending on the amount used.  When the substance is vaporized and then inhaled, the effects may kick in much more quickly but not last as long.

Dosing N-Bomb

A typical dose of N-Bomb is somewhere between 600 and 1200 micrograms.  Because the doses are so tiny (1 gram is the equivalent of 1,000,000 micrograms), it’s often very difficult to measure a dose accurately.  This is why users have a high risk of accidentally overdosing on the drug.

Multiple Concerns Arise

Like so many designer drugs — particularly newer ones — N-Bomb isn’t fully understood.  It’s been on the street for less than 5 years, and it was discovered in a lab just 11 years ago.  So the full and long-term effects are not yet known.  What little information we do have is primarily from those who have had a bad reaction to the drug or died from it.

Also, like other designer drugs and street drugs in general, there’s no way of knowing exactly what you’re getting.  It’s not at all uncommon for these substances to have other substances added in — making them even more dangerous than ever for users who don’t know what they’re getting.   Dealers often sell them under false names, like LSD.  After all, it’s a hallucinogenic drug with similar effects used in a similar manner.  No big deal…to them.

Information for Parents

If you’re the parent of a teen, it’s important to be aware of drugs in general, but especially designer drugs like N-Bomb.  First, these drugs are more readily available than you might realize.  Since new designer drugs are being created and coming available practically daily, they slip through the cracks legally (at least for a while) so they’re much easier for teens to obtain.  Many are sold online or by friends or acquaintances.

Second, they’re appealing to many teens because they’re “exciting” and “cool”. They may rationalize that since it’s not a “real” drug, like cocaine or methamphetamine, it’s safe (or at least safer) to try.  And of course, their peers will often try to convince them that these drugs are harmless fun.  On top of that, teens tend to be reckless.  They tend to still perceive themselves as invincible, and often don’t consider the potential long-term consequences of their behavior.  Even when the risks are presented, teens often ignore them — much the same way they roll their eyes when reminded ad nauseam that drinking and driving is very dangerous or that wearing seatbelts saves lives.

Still, it’s vital to talk to your teen about N-Bomb and other designer drugs.  Strive to maintain good communication with him or her, and make sure your teen knows (both by your words AND your actions) that you genuinely care and that your door is always open, so to speak.

If you do think your teen is using N-Bomb or any other drugs — including illegitimate prescription drugs, designer drugs, and regular street drugs — have a conversation as soon as possible.  Don’t ignore it.  Don’t minimize it.  Don’t assume that experimenting with drugs is just a normal part of adolescence.  Take it very seriously.  Consider setting up an appointment for an evaluation with an addiction specialist to determine if drug rehab is necessary.  Your teen may resent you, but a dead teen will never have the opportunity to appreciate how much you really do care.

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