Dr. Oz Warns about the Designer Drug Dragonfly
“Dragonfly is similar to LSD, but far more powerful and potentially more lethal,” states Dr. Oz in a warning to viewers about the danger of the designer drug Dragonfly. Dr. Oz points out that Dragonfly can produce psychedelic highs that last up to 2 days, can be bought online from home and is legal. With Dr. Oz is Joseph Lee, MD an addiction specialist with the Hazelden Center for Youth & Families who discusses the dangers of the designer drug Dragonfly.
When asked by Dr. Oz to describe what Dragonfly is and what the high is like when you are on it, Dr. Lee says that, “To understand Dragonfly you’ve got to understand two different classes of chemicals. One class are the hallucinogens. We know these—LSD, acid, peyote. They’ve been around for a while. The second class is the synthetic drug revolution—synthetic marijuana, synthetic stimulants—all these designer drugs that are now coming out in the market. You combine these two worlds and you get a drug like Dragonfly,” says Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee expands on Dragonfly by explaining what the attraction of the drug is to users. “Dragonfly is designed to last longer and is more potent than many hallucinogens. So, a recreational drug user may look at Dragonfly and say, “Hey, this thing I can trip on for 48 hours.” But if you have a bad effect with Dragonfly, you are going to have a bad side effect for 48 hours as well,” says Dr. Lee.
“How can I buy something legally that is so harmful to me?” asks Dr. Oz.
Dr. Lee explains that is has to do with how the government works when it comes to drugs. He tells us that the DEA has a list of regulated drugs where laws are in effect to protect the public from misuse and abuse. However, that many designer drugs like Dragonfly fall into a gray zone where they are chemically similar to a regulated drug, but different enough by as little as one molecule that results in the laws not being applicable. Therefore, it may be years before the courts can catch up with a new designer drug and pass a regulation that can outlaw a drug like Dragonfly.
“We cannot rely on the government solely on this one,” says Dr. Lee. “It’s up to us, it’s up to parents, it’s up to health care professionals and teachers and kids. We have to inform ourselves, we have to prevent this stuff from happening.”
To impact the audience with how serious a health risk Dragonfly is to a user, Dr. Oz shows an animation of what happens to the body on Dragonfly. It begins at first with a euphoric high with neurotransmitters being stimulated in brain that then progresses rapidly into uncontrolled rapid message signaling sent from the brain to the rest of the body. The user will then experience arterial spasms, intestinal discomfort and the lungs will flood with fluid from increased arterial and venous pressure to the point where it cannot supply the heart with oxygenated blood. The heart begins to suffocate from lack of oxygenated blood and the user then goes into cardiac arrest and dies.
However, more shocking to Dr. Oz is the fact of how easy it is to get access to Dragonfly. By entering an online search request with his laptop computer and using the search phrase “Buy 2C-E,”—which is a common, but less potent form of the designer drug Dragonfly—Dr. Oz was able to locate a company that sells dragonfly and purchase a gram for approximately $195.00 in less than 5 minutes with shipment guaranteed in 2-5 weeks.
While internet searching for a seller of the more potent form of Dragonfly called bromo-Dragonfly, within seconds Dr. Oz was able to locate individual sellers who would arrange for a purchase of bromo-Dragonfly for $300. “You contact the supplier and they give you the methodology to buy it,” states a guest web expert who demonstrates with Dr. Oz the ease of finding sources of Dragonfly. “It’s much easier to buy this stuff than I thought it would be. It’s much easier than it should be,” stated Dr. Oz nodding his head ruefully at the result on his screen.
Referring to the Internet, when Dr. Oz asks Dr. Lee if this is how kids are getting hold of Dragonfly, Dr. Lee states that it is. Furthermore Dr. Lee points out that the common signs of drug addiction such as behavior changes, bags under the eyes, bumping into things, etc., are not there. That the kids who are overdosing on Dragonfly are not addicts, that that do not go into seedy neighborhoods to find drug dealers to get this drug. Rather, that it is happening in the home and that kids are just experimenting for the first time to see what it is like to take Dragonfly.
This point that Dragonfly in the home can go undetected until it is too late was made especially poignant when Dr. Oz introduced a guest who had a daughter who died from an overdose of Dragonfly.
When Dr. Oz asked her if she knew then what she knows now, what she would have done differently with her daughter, his guest replied, “I can’t think of doing anything differently. I kept my eye on my kids. I was there. I was always making sure what they did, what they read. I knew her Face Book, I knew her MySpace…that’s what I’m saying—you can keep certain things away from your children. You can protect them with that shield to a point, but you can’t follow them. You go to college and there’s a computer, and there’s nothing on there that stops them from going on these sites.”
To help families protect their loved ones from being exposed to and taking Dragonfly, Dr. Oz believes that the best prevention is staying close to and monitoring your child. Below are a few key things to remember that may help you prevent your child from taking Dragonfly at home:
• Although kids are typically tech savvy, do not mistake it for a sign of maturity. Often kids will not realize that although something is offered on the Internet, that it may not be legal.
• Keep open channels with your kids. Withhold judgment. Realize for yourself and let your children know, that using drugs is a health issue and that you are there to discuss it with them.
• Keep an eye on their credit card use. Find out what they are buying and where.
• Monitor any packages they may receive in the mail. Look for foreign addresses where many suppliers of Dragonfly operate from.
• Monitor their home computer use and where they have been. Although they may know enough to delete their history, there are other ways to track what sites they have visited.
For more information about the dangers of the designer drug Dragonfly, go to the TV companion article titled “Dragonfly: What This Deadly New Drug Means for Your Family” on the Dr. Oz show website written by guest star Dr. Joseph Lee.