We need to talk with young people about something — now.
The lookalike hallucinogenic drug “N-bomb” is not LSD.
It is nothing like LSD. Nor is it anything like the other illicit hallucinogens that have been sold in the drug underground for years, often on blotter paper.
Emergency room physicians worldwide are starting to tell anecdotal stories about “N-bomb” — more properly 25I-NBOMe — and about young people who thought they were using a less dangerous drug that turned out to be more dangerous.
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In an interview last spring, a Wellington, New Zealand, hospital toxicologist described patient after patient who became “uncontrollably strong — it gives them in a bad rush the strength of 10 men.”
In Conroe, Texas, last spring, a high school honor student and top debater died after using “N-bomb.” A dozen other students had reactions.
This brings us again to the sorrowful loss of Christian Taylor, 19, of Arlington, the sophomore football player from Angelo State University shot dead by a rookie Arlington city police officer Aug. 7 during an early-morning episode at a new-car dealership.
Taylor has been described as a charismatic young man full of energy and enthusiasm for life. His death stirred emotions nationwide.
Nothing in the toxicology report finding “N-bomb” in Taylor’s system changes that.
We can’t know whether Taylor was aware that a dangerous substance was being circulated among the constantly changing supply of both legal and illegal drugs, some from obscure sources, on college campuses.
But considering how little health authorities have formally said about these dangerous new so-called hallucinogen “substitutes,” and how easily they can be passed off as simpler drugs, we can only assume Taylor probably knew no more than the rest of us.
There is still much we don’t know about what went on that night, but this helps us understand a little more about a young man who told friends and fellow churchgoers he wanted to change the world.
Maybe we start by changing our warnings.