Drug Task Force Sees Rise in New Drug

FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- In the past 3 weeks, the Drug Task Force for Washington and Madison counties said they have worked an additional three cases involving the drug 25i.

25i started as a synthetic form of LSD, but is 66 times stronger and gaining popularity.

"Much like with the synthetic marijuana that became so popular a few years ago, which was basically just a way to get around state laws, this is similar," Sgt. Jason French with the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force said.

In 2013 the drug became illegal, no longer flying under the radar.

Sgt. French said is 2013 there were only 4 cases of 25i, while in 2014, they have already seen about a dozen, and the number is growing.

"I know that we've worked 3 cases within the last 3 weeks," French said.

The target market for the drug is clear.

"We've certainly had cases that directly related back to college aged students. I would say, everyone we've had is in that age group," he said.

There are several variations of the drug, including 25c and 2ci, all illegal, but have the same effect as LSD, which French finds is also in an upward trend.

"We're routinely making cases on those almost on average, at least one a week of one of the LSD or synthetics so it's not unusual for us to get those cases at all now," he said.

25i has killed 14 Arkansans since 2010, so French said they have one mission.

"Take the most dangerous drug off the street."

The Benton County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Division said they are aware of the drug but have not seen or dealt with it. They said it's only a matter of time until they do.

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