Smiles isn't quite new. It was first concocted in 1991 by Alexander Shulgin, the same guy who made Ecstasy famous. But over the past year, high-profile overdoses have labeled 2C-I the "next big thing."
2C-I has been compared to Spice and other hallucinogenic synthetic drugs. It can be taken as a tablet or powder — usually mixed with chocolate or candy.
It's called Smiles for a reason. The drug apparently makes you feel giddy and relaxed. And as YouTube user toker90704 explains, it offers "the single most profound experience" he's ever had:
Last March, one person died and 10 were hospitalized after Smiles was spread around a Spring Break party in Minnesota.
In June, two North Dakota teenagers died from a Smiles overdose. (One month later, the Drug Enforcement Administration classified Smiles as illegal to make, buy, sell or possess.)
On Monday, a 7-year-old and 10-year-old in Pennsylvania got sick at school after taking Smiles.
The headlines continue piling up:
NBC News last Friday:
An ABC affiliate on Tuesday:
"Deseret News" on Wednesday:
But Smiles became even more famous Wednesday with the death of Johnny Lewis, the Sons of Anarchy actor who allegedly killed an 81-year-old woman before falling to his death while on the drug.
According to reports, Lewis also tore apart the woman's cat with his bare hands and feet, kicking and beating it until it died.
That's one scary trip.