Investigators, even scientists, have never seen anything like it. The new synthetic drug called "crazy clown" is now linked to deaths across the country.
Kristyna Engdahl discovers what makes this so-called natural herb so dangerous. Inside this small, foil packet not even a handful of innocent-looking herbs.
"It's kind of a sweet smelling, material, because they add some stuff to make it smell sweet. "
"Smells like incense almost."
And it's even sold as incense if you know where to look.
Typically these things are just bought at local head shops and maybe even some gas stations. And forensic scientist Christina Gabig says it's falling into hands of kids around the country. Some reports say 60 kids hospitalized in Georgia right now and some say 100 hospitalized in Georgia.
She's charged with figuring out what- the "Crazy Clown" really is, and, right now, she doesn't have an answer.
"I've never seen this. This took me quite a while to research."
But was she does know is these herbs are coated in a substance similar to the molecular structure of other synthetic drugs, but this is new.
It's a researched chemical that they made to fit into that same receptor in the brain that THC would fit loosely into. The problem is these fit tightly into that receptor causing much more of a reaction. And the reaction can be fatal.
"From the reports, foaming at the mouth, seizures and people are dying."
But despite very real danger just last week, two sixteen year old students from Papillion-La Vista tried Crazy Clown, almost killing one of them. So the district sent out a letter, warning parents.
"We wanted to open that dialogue with parents and make sure parents were talking with their students about it."
It's got Christine Gabig talking too, saying the new substance scares her as a scientist
"It's here, it's in Omaha.and just talking with people who work on the streets in Omaha, it is in Omaha."
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