The Blair County Drug and Alcohol Program Inc. has sent out a warning about a harmful new drug with effects similar to but even more severe than Blizzard or bath salts.
It is known on the streets as "N-Bomb" or "Smiles," and its side effects include "out of control thinking, paranoia, panic, unwanted and overwhelming feelings and violence," the program warned in a "hot sheet" flier.
Overdosing on the drug, which is common, can lead to "seizures, bleeding of the brain and death," it said.
The effects last six to 10 hours.
Judy Rosser, executive director of the Drug and Alcohol Program, said her agency doesn't send out warnings very often, but she believes this one is appropriate because of the dramatic effects of the drug and because "we are seeing a pocket of usage especially among our youth."
She said that many agencies "feed us information about problems."
Hot sheets are sent out to more than 200 people, including medical personnel, police, agencies like Children Youth and Families and many others to make people aware of what might be occurring in some instances of erratic behavior.
Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle, who presides over the Blair County Juvenile Drug Court, said the new designer drug has been discussed in that venue.
Assistant District Attorney Peter Weeks, who specializes in the prosecution of major drug crimes, said he is aware of the drug.
"It has come to Pennsylvania," Weeks said.
He said the drug, Phenethylamine Psychedelic or 251-NBOMe, appears to be an attempt to modify bath salts so it won't be a controlled or illegal substance.
Weeks said the drug was discussed at a recent seminar.
Rosser said these types of items are often available through the Internet, and a "pocket" of abuse develops.
According to the agency, the drug, masked as LSD, has been distributed at parties and festivals.
There have been deaths attributed to the drug in North Dakota, Virginia, Louisiana and Arizona. Virginia, Louisiana and Florida have banned it.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.