What is 25i NBOMe

When the psychedelic mescaline, which naturally occurs from the peyote cactus, gets mixed with a series of unpronounceable chemicals, (4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxy-N-, 4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxy-N-, 2-methoxybenzyl,3,4,5-trimethoxy-N-, 2-methoxybenzyl, phenethylamine) a dangerous, new synthetic hallucinogen commonly known as 25i NBOMe is born.

Peyote Cactus (Lophophora williamsii) The Dangers of 25i NBOMe
Peyote Cactus (Lophophora williamsii) – hallucinogenic plant of Central America

“Designer synthetics are really nasty,” said Rusty Payne, a national spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “There are chemical cannabinoid structures. There are stimulants and hallucinogens. Then you have hallucinogens that act as stimulants, and stimulants that act like hallucinogens, and the list goes on.”

N-bomb is available in liquid, powder or paper form and can be snorted, injected, mixed with food, or smoked, but sublingual administration is most common. Users take the drug the same way they would take LSD, but n-bomb is actually a lot more potent and reacts with serotonin receptors in the nervous system.

Extremely small amounts of 25i NBOMe can do a lot of damage.

About 750 micrograms of n-bomb – relatively six grains of table salt –  is considered to be an average to high dose. Payne said that just a microgram of n-bomb is killing people.

Solaris, 25I NBOMe, 25C NBOMe, 25B NBOMe , BOM-CI, Cimbi-5, Dime, Gnome, New Nexus, and Smiles are some of the other street names for n-bomb. Its effects include mood alteration, stimulation, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. The drug is not only addictive but able to cause life-threatening side effects like kidney failure and mental disorders.

Forensic reports show that law enforcement first encountered 25I-NBOMe in the United States in 2011. During the following year, doctors and toxicologists had reported numerous cases of people who had been exposed to the drug.

According to the DEA, variations of NBOMe – 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe – have been linked to the deaths of at least 19 Americans, aged 15 to 29, from March of 2012 to August of 2013.

25i NBOMe Designer Drug 

The chemicals found in the drug have nearly no history of human use prior to being sold online as a designer drug, and because the DEA is not aware of any medical use for 25I-NBOMe, the drug became illegal in 2013.

Despite the drug’s Schedule I status, it continues to kill not only Americans but people around the world and to be marketed online through illicit channels, often misrepresented as LSD or other substances.   

“You have no idea where that pill came from or where that powder came from,” said Payne. “You don’t know the lab environment in which it was manufactured. You don’t know the contents. You don’t know what’s in it. When you don’t know those things, you have no idea if you’re popping a fentanyl pill or a pill with a bunch of cutting agents and adulterants.”

Because there’s not a lot of accurate information about many synthetic drugs, they continue to be a huge problem.

The issue is not only big but multi-faceted. The substances are problematic and need to be detained, finding out where they’re coming from and controlling the spread is very difficult.

Drug Dealers don’t Know They are Selling 25i NBOMe

“A lot of times drug dealers on the streets don’t even know what they’re selling,” Payne said. “So, it became a bad game of cat and mouse. It’s very much a challenge for the DEA and for law enforcement, not only to find the bad guys but to identify new and emerging chemicals in drugs.”

Since most dangerous synthetic drugs are coming from China, diplomatic dialogue with officials from countries like China and Mexico has been critically important to law enforcement agencies. But Payne emphasized that the focus of such dialogues should not be only on opiates.

“Opiates are claiming the most death victims from drugs for sure,” Payne added. “But these designer synthetic drugs are awful things and deserve more attention. There are a lot of broken hearts and families that are ruined forever because of synthetic drugs.”

The only way to reverse the problematic situation and to prevent synthetic drugs from causing more damage is through public awareness.

“I think that public awareness is huge,” Payne concluded. “People need to realize that drug abuse is not what it once was. It is a game of Russian roulette.”