By Jane Sugiyama. CREATED Nov 12, 2014
On Mother's Day, May 11, 2014, the Motsay family lost a loved one.
Sam Motsay, an honor student and avid athlete, had big plans for the future. However, he became victim to a little-known synthetic drug called NBOMe. This drug is targeted at teens as a substitute for LSD and can be as lethal as poison with just one use.
"Sam was not involved with alcohol or gateway drugs. He was very health conscious because he was an athlete. He was always very alert about what he was doing and putting into his body," said Sam's mother, Jeanine Motsay.
Due to the nature of the drug, NBOMe works its way out of the human body much faster than other gateway drugs, putting the user at a higher risk. This makes the drug very alluring to athletes as they are often subject to random drug tests.
"The drug is literally taking poison because you don't know what exactly it is made up of since the compounds it contains are man-made and random, and haphazardly put together. To make it look like it is not dangerous, the drug is packaged to look like candy as the wrapping features pictures of clowns and primary colors."
The drug that killed Sam was not made illegal until November 15, 2013. Prior to making NBOMe illegal, users were able to order the drug online.
"When we found out about NBOMe, we realized that in the week's following Sam's death there was not a lot of centralized knowledge about the drug. We wanted parents to have a place to go to learn more so they can have a conversation with their children about the dangers of synthetic drugs, particularly this one."
Leaving behind his parents and brother, Sam's family is seeking to educate the public about NBOMe through a website called SAMs Watch. SAMs Watch offers information about the dangers that young people, parents and schools readily need regarding this synthetic drug.
"It's not you, it's what you don't know."