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Published June 20, 2012, 10:32 AM

EGF Police ID 17-year-old Who Overdosed on Synthetic Drug

A 17-year-old boy who died, apparently after overdosing on a synthetic hallucinogen in East Grand Forks, has been identified.

A 17-year-old boy who died, apparently after overdosing on a synthetic hallucinogen in East Grand Forks, has been identified.

Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, died Friday according to East Grand Forks police Lt. Rod Hajicek Wednesday morning.

Police across the region are alarmed by the recent abuse of dangerous synthetic drugs.

They're so concerned, that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies had an emergency meeting about the drug problem plaguing the greater Grand Forks area and they're worried that synthetic drugs are to blame for the deaths of two teens in one week.

Elijah Stai's death is the second one in the Grand Forks area blamed on synthetic drugs in the past week.

Authorities want both parents and teens to be aware of the deadly synthetic drugs circulating in the area.

"Within the past week or so we've had five people brought into the hospital with the same type of symptoms and now we have two deaths," East Grand Forks Police Department Lt. Rodney Hajicek said.

17-year-old Elijah Stai died on Friday after police say he apparently overdosed on synthetic hallucinogens in East Grand Forks.

"In this particular case they mix this product into a candy bar and ingested it, seems obvious don't ingest anything that's mixed with these synthetic drugs, they are very dangerous," Hijacek said.

These synthetic drugs are commonly known as "bath salts", "K2", "herbal incense" or "spice." But it is unclear as to what drug was in the candy bar at this point. What is clear, is the effects it has on those who use it.

"Rapid heart beat, rapid breathing, shaking, convulsions, unable to speak, those types of medical calls where they are truly a medical emergency," Hajicek said.

Stai's death comes after another teen's death. Police believe that 18 year-old Christian Bjerk of Grand Forks died from an overdose of a similar hallucinogen. Police say they are not sure if the two deaths are related. Federal, State and local law enforcement met this week to discuss concerns with these synthetic drugs in the area.

"We've seen them in the form of multi-colored blotted paper or white powder and these synthetic drugs have been linked to multiple overdoses in the past month and potentially two deaths in the past week so we want to warn the citizens of GF and EGF, warn parents to talk to their children about this," North Dakota's U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said.

Authorities are asking parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs and their effects. Especially because these synthetic drugs are so new and little is known about their effects except they can be deadly.

"You think about how this happened, this young man took a portion of a candy bar and now he's passed away. So sad," Hajicek said.

The Grand Forks School District got involved today because the victims have ranged in ages from 14 to 19 years old. They want parents to inform their kids of the risks.