The Designer Drug “Smiles”

Smiles is a relatively new drug to hit the “designer” drug scene.  Designer drugs are chemicals that are created or used because they act like other well known drugs – cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, etc. – but are made of a chemical composition that is not yet illegal.  These drugs are marketed for the sole purpose of circumventing drug laws.

Smiles has been compared to another designer drug called Bath Salts.  Smiles (2c-I) is only loosely related to bath salts.  Smiles is a member of the phenylethylamine family.  It has effects like a very strong combination of MDMA (Ecstasy) and LSD.  It seems that it was initially sold in the Netherlands — though it has been banned there in all its forms (2c-x).  It is generally taken orally or rectally.  It can be snorted, but the pain is intense.  Onset of the hallucinogenic experience can take up to two hours and last as long as 12 hours.  Smiles is considered desirable by some because at least initially, it was legal, though that is changing quickly in most states.

Bath Salts is a “substituted cathinone” and has effects similar to amphetamines or cocaine.  In other words, Smiles is an hallucinogenic drug while Bath Salts is a type of speed.

Where Smiles and Bath Salts are similar is that each has caused a tremendous number of calls to the Poison Control Center because of adverse reactions and overdose.  Many have died using these substances.

Treatment for designer drugs is no different than for naturally occurring substances.  The underlying reasons for the substance abuse must be dealt with for the addict to have lasting freedom and a transformed life.