Dragonfly: New deadly designer drug

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by Brandy Aguilar, Special Projects

azfamily.com

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 9 at 4:21 PM

PHOENIX -- A new designer drug called Dragonfly has sent several young people to the hospital across the country. It’s perfectly legal and it's also incredibly dangerous.

“As long as I got my marijuana feel or high, to me it was OK,” Randall Smith said.

Smith is addicted to spice. It’s a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

“It's just as strong as marijuana, if not stronger,” Smith continued.

The 34-year-old has been smoking it for the last two years. But when he hit rock bottom, Smith sought treatment at Journey Healing Centers in Scottsdale.

“It's becoming easier and easier for this savvy generation of kids to get their hands on these drugs,” Dr. Ravi Chandiramani said.

Chandiramani is the center's corporate medical director.

Earlier this year the Drug Enforcement Administration put fake pot products like spice and bath salts on its emergency banned list, but now there is a new designer drug emerging called Dragonfly.

“It was actually manufactured as a research chemical in rats, believe it or not, but somehow people have got their hands on it mostly through the Internet,” Chandiramani said. “It acts like LSD so they use it for hallucinate properties and what we know is it causes a really long trip.”

The doctor said it can come in a pill form or blotters. Blotters are where a piece of paper is soaked in the drug and then put under the tongue.

“It's something that has caused people to find their way into the emergency room and it's very highly toxic, even in very small doses,” Chandiramani said.

Dr. Frank LoVecchio with Banner Poison Center said they've treated patients who have taken similar types of drugs.

“No one knows the proper dose, so the best thing to do is stay away from these medications and drugs,” LoVecchio said.

And if anyone knows what designer drugs can do, it’s Smith and he has some advice for young people.

“Talk to someone about it, get online, get somebody that's in a program and just have a good sitdown with them and [have them] tell you all the side effects,” he said.

For more information on Journey Healing Centers, log onto www.journeycenters.com or call 1-866-535-8962.

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