Mother to warn about dangerous new drug at community forum

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A Greenwood mother is warning families about a dangerous drug that is becoming more popular in Central Indiana.

She and law enforcement will speak at a community forum from 6-7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Greenwood Christian Church, 2045 Averitt Road.

Photos in Jeanine Motsay's living room show a teen full of promise. The pictures display Sam Motsay as a high school freshman, as a sophomore, with his brother on vacation in Florida last summer, and with his Center Grove basketball teammates.

His mom tears up as she looks at each one.

"He was so proud to be a Trojan," she said.

Now, pictures and mementos are all she has of her son, Sam. The athlete and honors student loved life and died, too soon.

The 16-year-old died on Mother's Day. He was the victim of a dangerous drug, a synthetic hallucinogen called NBOMe or "Smiles."

Like many parents, teens and even police, Jeanine had never heard of it until it took her son.

"I think that it's poison," Motsay said. "It really is playing Russian roulette because three kids can take the same thing and one of them doesn't wake up."

That's what happened to Sam in May.

Three men were arrested for supplying the drugs to Sam and his friends.

Sam is the second Central Indiana teen to die recently after taking NBOMe.

PHOTO: Sam Motsay and John "Jack" Romaine both died from NBOMe

Experts say people who take it don't die from an overdose, but just from its pure potency.  NBOMe is 60 times stronger than LSD. Police say kids don't know what they're getting or what it's been cut with. They also don't know how it could affect their bodies. It's unpredictable and will be different with each person who takes it.

"I want young people to be informed. They need to be," Motsay said.

Now, Jeanine is on a mission to help other families. Along with police, the DEA and lawmakers, she will educate and share Sam's story Tuesday night at a community forum meant to prevent another tragedy.

"In this case, I was notifying the mother and the father that their son died on Mother's Day," said Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox. "Honestly, the whole purpose of this forum is hopefully I'm not going to anybody else's house to notify that their son, daughter, brother or sister has passed away from this.  We hope if nothing else, parents learn a little something, they go home, sit down at the kitchen table with their families and they talk about this new drug."

It's a drug that's already led to tragedy. A mom is now without her oldest son and the grief is almost too much to bear.

Hamilton County, where another teenager died from NBOMe, is planning a similar forum for families at the end of the month.