Russell Alonzo had dreams of saving lives as a surgeon, but about a year ago, the 20-year-old USF student suddenly lost his life.
"It was a real shock," said his mother, Elizabeth.
Russell fell seven stories to his death at the Malibu USF apartments in Tampa. Toxicology reports show he had ingested an LSD-like designer drug known as 25i. It's also called smiles, or NBomb.
It's typically spread on blotter paper and placed under the tongue.
"The DEA compares this to playing Russian Roulette," said FOX 13 medical reporter Dr. Joette Giovinco.
In fact, the DEA reports it's responsible for 19 deaths between March 2012 and August 2013. Just last weekend, three teen girls in Virginia wound up in the hospital because of it.
"People don't realize the risk they're taking when they consume something. They have no idea where it came from, what it could do to you," Dr. Jo said.
Side effects of the drug can range from euphoria, to increased heart rate, and as reported, even death.
"You would never eat something that someone threw on the floor and put on your plate, but yet you'll take a medication from someone you don't know anything about?" Dr. Jo said.
"That was the first time I'd ever heard of it," Alonzo said.
And now she wants other parents to know about it before it's too late for their kids.
"My message is to talk to their children about this drug specifically because it's a killer," she said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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