The drug called Smiles is possibly involved in the (probable) murder suicide perpetrated by Johnny Lewis from Sons of Anarchy.
The challenges facing drug enforcement agencies and drug treatment centers like ours are evolving rapidly. In the last few years, “legal” drugs which we often refer to as “head shop” drugs like spice and bath salts have fascinated experimental drug users – especially younger adults. The appeal of the drugs is their availability (online or through a local head shop) and their undetectability by traditional drug tests.
Smiles – A Hallucinogenic Powder that is Causing Fatal Overdoses
The drug called Smiles has come to our attention and frequently been in the news recently. The drug can be considered an evolution of the bath salts that were so popular in 2011 and have largely been outlawed from legal distribution by the FDA. Smiles is similar to bath salts in that it has an amphetamine like effect on the user. Smiles is different than bath salts because it has an even more unpredictable psychedelic effect – making it extremely risky for the user. Reality can be distorted by the drug and violent or self destructive episodes may ensue.
Both Smiles and bath salts can cause fatal overdose, as many devastated families are finding out. Common side effects of Smiles include:
- Kidney failure
- Fatally high blood pressure
The drug has been blamed for a recent rash of teenage overdoses in Grand Forks, North Dakota. More recently, the (apparent) murder/suicide in Los Angeles that was instigated by Johnny Lewis (of Sons of Anarchy and The OC Fame) is being investigated as a possible act by someone under the influence of Smiles.
Alexander Shulgin and Smiles’ Roots
Although Smiles has only recently been widely popular, the drug (known as 2C-I) was actually synthesized long ago by famed pharmocologist Alexander Shulgin. Alexander Shulgin has a controversial reputation as “The Godfather of Psychedelics” and has gotten a lot of acclaim for researching and bringing to light drugs that may illuminate new realities for some but also destroy the minds and bodies of others.
Alexander Shulgin wrote about 2C-I in his book PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (with PiHKAL standing for “Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved”). Another one of Alexander Shulgin’s drugs called 2C-B can be considered a precursor to 2C-I and was popular in the drug counterculture in the 1990s before finally becoming banned.
Alexander Shulgin is also credited with the discovery and promotion of the MDMA (more commonly known as the drug ecstasy) which also has promising positive uses in some arenas but has also ended many lives.