Clubland warning over new drug Smiles in Gloucester after boy, 18, dies
DESPITE its innocent name, Smiles is the new drug every parent in Gloucester should be worried about.
The latest potentially lethal recreational high favoured by clubbers has already proved fatal.
A man from Gloucester, 20, was arrested on Sunday on manslaughter and drug supply charges in connection with the death of a teenager.
The 18-year-old lad had been at a party in Farnham in Surrey. An 18-year-old woman from Bristol has also been arrested. They are due to return to Woking police station on March 9.
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Police believe the killer substance was sold as 2C-I and taken through an inhaler, possibly unknowingly.
Gloucester's clubland is bracing itself but Rich Payne, manager of Zest, says his bar's anti-drug policy is clear.
"We regularly do random searches and our staff are trained to look out for signs of drugs," he said.
"I've not come across Smiles but it is worrying there is another drug for people to be wary of."
The drug has a similar effect to LSD and MDMA or ecstasy, but intense hallucinations can last days. Side effects include muscle tension, vomiting, dilated pupils and high energy.
Butlers bar owner Justin Hudson employs undercover drug spotters.
"It is a fight we will never win but our zero tolerance stance against drugs is pretty clear," he said. "These people will always find new ways to take drugs but we are constantly working to pass on our intelligence."
Tony French from InfoBuzz, a group working with young drug users in Gloucestershire, said: "Using inhalers for drug taking is nothing new and more of a novelty, but we have not seen young people presenting problems associated with 2C-I. Although it is not common, that doesn't mean it is not a problem."
A spokesman from Gloucestershire police said: "This is a drug that we have not come across here in the county before and something we are now researching and briefing officers about."