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Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Drug Blamed For Teen's Death

Teen's Death Puts Spotlight on Deadly Designer Drug '2-C-E'

A Spring Break party in Minnesota ended in tragedy after one teen died and 10 others were sickened when they overdosed on a designer drug called '2-C-E.'

The case has highlighted the dangers of the synthetic hallucinogen, which the group apparently bought legally online.

"It has psychedelic effects very similar [to those of] LSD or ecstasy," CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton told "The Early Show." "It works as a central nervous system stimulant. It can increase body temperature and can cause hallucinations."

The victims, ranging in age from 16 to 21, took too much of the drug, sending 11 of them to the hospital. One of the partygoers, 19-year-old Trevor Robinson, was initially on life support but later died, according to

The hallucinogen 2-C-e can be crushed into a powder and mixed into drinks. Ashton said it often has delayed effects, so teenagers may take too much because they don't think it's working. It also stays in the body for half a day.

"It has a slow onset of action, so you can take this drug and not not feel any of its effects right away and then stack it with other drugs -- increasing the risk of overdose -- or take more of it," Ashton said. "And it has a long half-life, so it can stay in your system for 12 hours."

A 2-C-E overdose can cause a dangerous spike in temperature and lead to heart and kidney failure, she explained.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has labeled certain 2-C-E drugs as controlled substances but not others, so some of the hallucinogens can be bought legally on the Internet, according to Ashton.

"It is accessible online," she told CBS. "People can be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking, 'Look, if I can get it on the Internet, it must be safe.' Obviously not so, as we see here. It can be deadly."

She said there are no hard-and-fast numbers on how widespread of a problem 2-C-E has become. But the Minnesota mass overdose has sounded alarm bells about the fad drug.

"This is part of a concerning trend. We saw this 10 years ago in raves," Ashton said. "One death because of this drug is one too many."

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