Secret websites offering illegal drugs prove deadly

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, IL (KTVI) - Drugs with innocuous names like Smiles and N-Bomb are now popping up in dark corners of the internet, through tough-to-track URL’s that keep changing.

Illinois Coroners Association President Randy Dudenbostel says these websites are becoming a popular source of synthetic drugs, including forms of LSD. Much of it is shipped from China. Dudenbostel explains, “It’s becoming more available online. Back in the 60s, you didn’t have that easy access that we’re seeing today.”

It’s yet another reason why parental supervision is so important.

“Unfortunately these kids can order these drugs on the internet, have it shipped to their house, be home before their parents get home, receive the drugs, and nobody is any the wiser,” the coroner adds.

Forms of LSD have already caused at least one death outside Chicago. “We’ve seen some deaths up in the northern part of the state, and it’s just a matter of time before we’ll see it throughout the state,” the Randolph County coroner warns.

Determining the cause of death from these internet-bought drugs can be a challenge. According to SSM Cardinal Glennon Toxicology Director Dr. Tony Scalzo, chemists keep changing the drugs’ compounds so they’ll go undetected by law enforcement.

Scalzo explains, “The part that the kids like about the synthetics is that they’re not detectable on drug screens. So these testings that are done in high schools, hair samples, urine, they’re going to appear clean.”

These chemical tweaks might help teens pass a drug test—that’s assuming they're healthy enough to take one. “That’s the problem, is that people are overdosing on a drug that’s never been tested on humans, that they don’t know how it’s going to affect their body, and at a dose that they can’t even control. And that’s the biggest danger,” says Scalzo.

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