New synthetic drug 'Smiles' sweeping across the country

A new type of synthetic drug is sweeping across the country. The drugs, called 2C-I, is also known as "Smiles," and it is being blamed for several teenagers' deaths.

Ross Sullivan is a doctor at University Hospital's Poison Control Center. He says the drug is very similar to bath salts.

"Taking these things can cause high blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature and when you combine these things with altered mental status it can create a dangerous situation," says Sullivan.

The drug is a hallucinogen, which can reportedly produce a high that lasts for hours or even days. It has been linked to two deaths in North Dakota. In Philadelphia, police say two brothers may have been sickened by the drug.

While cases have popped up in Central New York, most people we talked to have never heard of it. While walking down Marshall Street near Syracuse University, Nathan Epstien says it's news to him.

"I don't know anyone who's done it. I don't know anyone who has it. I've never seen it before, never been exposed to it," says Epstein.

And Shamel Lewis says it's not something he's seen at college parties.

" I can't say I've ever seen it on a college campus. Never. I think that's the very, very poor man's drug to be honest with you. I think these college students are too smart to be doing bath salts or smiles," says Lewis.

Natalie Raney says she's heard of bath salts but never "Smiles".

"I heard it turns people into zombies and makes them do crazy things. But other than that I don't know. I have some friends that work in the ER out in Utica and they've had a lot of people come in. That's the new party drug," says Raney.

Other types of synthetic drugs have been causing widespread problems across Central New York, leading local communities and even the state to crack down on head shops that sell them.

Staying on top of "Smiles," is the newest priority for poison control since synthetic drugs are not going away anytime soon.