NBOMe Addiction: Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal, and Treatment
NBOMe is a synthetic hallucinogen that is classified as a New Psychoactive Substance (NPS). It is an extremely powerful drug that is designed to mimic the effects of drugs like LSD, mescaline, and methamphetamine. It was first synthesized in the early 2000s and became available on the recreational drug market in 2010.1 There are several different forms of NBOMe, but 25I-NBOMe or 25I is the most commonly abused form.
NBOMe produces hallucinogenic effects and affects the way a person perceives the world by influencing the senses and altering the person’s thinking, sense of time, and emotions. An average dose of NBOMe is about 750 micrograms, which is equivalent to about six small grains of table salt.2 Even just a tiny amount can produce effects that last up to 12 hours.
NBOMe is typically sold in liquid or powder form or on soaked blotter paper. Most people use it by placing it under the tongue, where it is easily absorbed. Users may also inject it, smoke it, inhale it through the nose, or vape it. Swallowing NBOMe doesn’t produce any effects.
Because NBOMe is such a powerful drug, an overdose is much more likely, especially if a person takes a large dose or combines it with other drugs. Dealers often sell NBOMe claiming that it is LSD so users may take too much and overdose because they are unaware it’s NBOMe.3
NBOMe has caused several fatalities and does not have a good reputation, however, many people still abuse it for its psychedelic effects. People who use it regularly can rapidly develop a tolerance and become psychologically addicted to it.
The following terms are street names or slang for NBOMe:
- BOM-CI or Cimbi-5
- Legal Acid
- New Nexus
- Smiley Paper
According to the DEA, 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe are Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).4 Initially, these synthetic drugs were developed and used as research tools, but today, they are illegally abused and sold online or via dealers to consumers who are using them to get high.
There are currently no published studies on the safety of NBOMe for human use, but the DEA reports that even small amounts of these drugs can cause seizures, cardiac and respiratory arrest, or death. Commonly referred to as “N-Bombs,” these drugs may also be cut with other substances, so users can never really be sure of what they’re consuming.
Information about NBOMe users in the U.S. is also limited, but between March of 2012 and April of 2013, various forms of NBOMe were linked to the deaths of at least 14 different individuals.4 As a result, any use of NBOMe is not safe or recommended. Despite the many risks, NBOMe continues to be a commonly abused drug due to its psychedelic effects.
Some people use NBOMe or N-Bombs because they like the way the drug makes them feel. Despite all of its negative side effects, NBOMe can also make people feel more excited, sociable, have more empathy, heighten their senses, and cause an increased sex drive. It can also produce euphoria, increase creativity, enhance music, and lift a person’s mood.1
Aside from the positive side effects listed above, there are also many other negative side effects of NBOMe use.
Short-term effects of NBOMe use include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
- Muscle tension1
People who abuse NBOMe may also be likely to abuse other synthetic drugs or psychedelics like LSD or mescaline. Signs of MBOMe abuse and addiction may include:
- Needing more NBOMe to achieve the same effects
- Being unable to stop using NBOMe
- Continuing to use NBOMe despite the negative physical and psychological effects
- Isolating oneself from friends and family
- Lying about using NBOMe
- Spending a lot of time thinking about how to get NBOMe, using it, and how it feels to use it
- Losing interest in regular hobbies or activities
People who have developed a tolerance and psychological addiction to NBOMe may experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop. Synthetic drugs are notorious for unpredictable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms and the same is true of NBOMe. The type of withdrawal symptoms a person may experience, as well as their severity, will depend on the batch of NBOMe they took, as each one will vary.
Here are some of the reported physical symptoms of NBOMe withdrawal:
- Blurry vision
- Electrical shock sensations
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- High fever
- Bleeding on the brain
- Excessive sweating
- Numbness in the limbs
- Kidney failure
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden death
Here are some of the reported psychological symptoms of NBOMe withdrawal:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Paranoia and panic
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Trouble thinking straight and communicating
Withdrawal from synthetic drugs can be very uncomfortable, unpredictable, and dangerous. As such, it is best to seek professional help if you’re ready to stop using. A medical detox program can reduce the severity of NBOMe withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and provide assistance in the event of any medical emergencies.
Since there is a lack of research and data concerning NBOMe withdrawal, it’s difficult to say exactly how long NBOMe withdrawal will take. Synthetic drug withdrawal can also be very unpredictable, so the duration and severity of symptoms will vary greatly from person to person. The frequency and dosage of NBOMe will also affect the duration of withdrawal symptoms.
It is, however, important to know that synthetic drug withdrawal symptoms can sometimes last for weeks and will often require medical treatment for safe and effective withdrawal.
While medical detox addresses the physical aspects of NBOMe dependence, it does not address the psychological addiction that some people may experience. Rehab can help individuals come to terms with their addictive behaviors and address the underlying causes with individual and group therapy, a structured recovery program, and professional support.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that good outcomes are dependent on adequate treatment length, meaning, treatment should last long enough to adequately address a person’s addiction issues. For most people, this is at least 90 days.
If you’re considering rehab for NBOMe addiction, it’s helpful to know what you can expect. While all rehab centers are different, drug rehab generally includes the following aspects of treatment:
- Education session about addiction and the recovery process
- Life skills development
- Relapse prevention
- Structured recovery program work such as the 12-Step Program or SMART Recovery
- Group, individual, and family therapy
- Specialized therapies
Depending on your treatment needs, you may benefit from a residential rehab program or an outpatient rehab program. These are two of the most common types of rehab programs and here’s how they differ. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, an addiction treatment specialist can help.
In residential rehab, clients:
In outpatient rehab, clients:
The cost of drug rehab is also an important factor that can determine which type of rehab program is best. Residential drug rehab programs are usually more expensive than outpatient programs, but every rehab center is different. Most drug rehab centers provide several different payment options to ease the burden, such as:
- Health insurance benefits
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
- Financed healthcare loans
- Credit cards
- HSA funds
After completing rehab for NBOMe addiction, your treatment team may recommend that you continue seeking support through continued care options like a sober living program or aftercare program. These addiction treatment services offer much-needed support in early recovery and can help prevent relapse.
Sober Living Programs
Returning to everyday life after NBOMe rehab can be difficult, but a sober living program can bridge the gap and help you gradually assimilate into a new life of recovery. Sober living homes provide safe, supportive living environments for men and women in recovery. Some sober living houses may also offer additional recovery support services such as:
- Tiered recovery programming
- Peer monitoring programs
- Regular drug and alcohol testing
- Educational planning
- Employment assistance
- Volunteer placement
The cost of a sober living home is generally very affordable compared to other living options, and many sober living homes offer scholarships for rehab alumni. Generally, the cost of a sober living home will vary depending on factors like its location, amenities, rooming options, the recovery services offered, and more.
Aftercare programs are also helpful for people who are new to recovery or who are going through a transitional phase in life and need extra support to stay sober. Aftercare treatment consists of a series of outpatient group therapy sessions that provide an open and safe space to talk about recovery-related issues.
Clients enrolled in aftercare receive support from their peers and addiction treatment specialists and have the opportunity to provide support to others as well.
NBOMe abuse and addiction have the potential to ruin your life or even take it completely. If you’re struggling with synthetic drug abuse, there is help available and full recovery is possible. Please call Nova Recovery Center at (512) 605-2955 to start your recovery journey today.
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