POLICE are linking the death of a man in Bristol to a powerful designer drug.
Officers issued a warning today about NBOMe, also known as N-Bomb, which is a hallucinogen similar in appearance and effect to LSD, after a man in his 20s died in Totterdown at the weekend.
Avon and Somerset police say they are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to confirm the man's exact cause of death but have issued the warning because of suspicions that the Class A drug, which was outlawed last year, was involved.
No other details about the man who died have been released at this stage.
Drug advisory service Frank describes N-Bombs as powerful hallucinogens with a similar effect to LSD, taken for the change in perception they produce.
But aside from the psychological effects of bad trips, the drug has also been observed by doctors to produce an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which in "extreme cases" can lead to heart failure.
A police spokesman said: "We are reminding people of the high risk of using NBOMe, which became a Class A drug last year.
"It follows the death of a man in Totterdown over the weekend. It is possible that he may have been using the drug, although toxicology tests to determine the cause of death will not be known for several weeks.
"It is rare for the drug to take the form of capsules because of its strength. Its normal dose is minute and even small quantities can prove lethal.
"We have already reminded drug users and drug service organisations of the potential danger of NBOMe because of its strength."
The spokesman said there had been several seizures of NBOMe in Bristol over the past 18 months.
He added: "NBOMe produces effects that can last between six and ten hours, if taken sublingually (under the tongue) or orally and includes the following effects - euphoria, mental/physical stimulation, feelings of love/empathy, change in consciousness, unusual body sensations and can have highly negative effects such as confusion, shaking, nausea, insomnia, paranoia and unwanted feelings."
Possession of NBOMe can lead to a sentence of up to seven years' jail, while penalties for supplying the drug range from eight years in jail to a life sentence, according to Frank.