A New and Deadly Designer Drug

Phenethylamines are a large class of drugs that act as central nervous stimulants in humans. Bromo-DragonFLY is a potent hallucinogenic drug related to the phenethylamine family. The drug is highly toxic and has been responsible for at least five deaths. The new drug is highly dangerous and can easily cause overdose symptoms that include seizures and respiratory asphyxiation.
Matthew Speiser, in a 2015 Business Insider article entitled A Stunning Number of New ‘Legal High” Drugs are Being Discovered, explained that phenethylamines are synthetically created and can “cause an increase in heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure and can lead to dehydration, seizures, depression, paranoia, delirium, and cardiovascular issues.” Bromo-DragonFLY is one of the more dangerous phenethylamines and is nearly as potent as LSD.
In 2011 two college students, Andrew Akerman and Anastasia Jewell, died after ingesting Bromo-DragonFLY. The two college students along with six others took the drug at a party. Sheila Stogsdill, in a 2012 article for The Oklahoman entitled Man Sentenced in 2011 Designer Drug Deaths of Two Oklahoma College Students, explained, “Akerman and Jewell and six others ingested bromo-dragonfly at a party May 7, 2011. Jewell died hours after ingesting the hallucinogenic drug and Akerman died six days later after he was put in a medically induced coma.” The other six partygoers were hospitalized and suffered from severe vomiting and seizures. The man who distributed the drug was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The drug causes severe medical complications when taken in large amounts. However, because little is known about the drug, potency can vary dramatically. Salli George, in a 2008 BBC News article entitled ‘I nearly died from taking £5 hit’, reports on the story of an 18-year-old under the pseudonym Justin Stevens, who experienced and overdose of Bromo-DragonFLY. George explained, “His lung collapsed, his heart stopped twice, and his mother was told that in the unlikely event her son survived, he could be left with permanent brain damage.” After ingesting the drug, Stevens reported feeling an extreme rise in body temperature and feelings of panic. Stevens reported that he experienced hallucinations, severe vomiting, and his lungs collapsed as a result of inhaling the contents of his stomach.
There have been numerous reports of individuals experiencing severe agitation, vomiting, hallucinations, and tonic-clonic seizures after ingesting the new designer drug. As more and more designer drugs like Bromo-DragonFLY are being synthesized, more people are using them and facing severe side effects. The drugs are often unresearched and there is little information regarding safe dosage.

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