Like so many other high school students across the country, Montana Sean Brown read a new book every two days. He played football at his Frisco, Texas high school, and had ran track, swam, and wrestled in middle school. He excelled in academics in middle school, which led to his receiving the President’s award for excellence. Everything seemed to be going right for Montana—until one night he tried for the first time what he thought was LSD—and died of an overdose. He had actually taken a synthetic designer drug called 25I-NBOMe, or N-bomb. Montana was just 15 years old at the time of his death.
Montana’s foray into drugs began by happenstance: a tubing accident at a lake resulted in spleen damage and a trip to the emergency room. Three days in the hospital on morphine and hydrocodone to dull the pain introduced him to new sensations. Curious, he tried marijuana with a friend, but his father caught him. He subjected Montana to random drug testing and community service, but it wasn’t enough to get Montana to stop experimenting.
One evening, Montana’s parents went out of town on business, leaving him in the care of his older brothers, Rory, 20, and Jack, 16. With their parents gone, they decided to have a little fun. Their friend Steven brought over what they thought was LSD, and they all took a few tablets. Immediately, Montana and his brothers became violently ill, and all were rushed to the emergency room. They had actually taken a deadly clandestinely made synthetic version, made to mimic the effects of LSD, called 25I-NBOMe, also known as N-bomb. Rory was hospitalized for a few days and incoherent during his entire stay, but he survived the ordeal. Montana wasn’t so lucky.
Three people were arrested, tried, and sentenced in connection with Montana’s death: the dealer, their friend Steven, who purchased the drugs, and the woman who introduced Steven to the dealer.
Montana’s brothers Jack and Rory suffered greatly from the guilt they felt for placing their baby brother in that situation. The experience “scared them straight,” their father says.
“He was the kid that all his friends thought was invincible,” he recalls.
A Facebook page has been set up in Montana’s name, with stories and pictures, as well as information and news about the dangers of synthetic drugs. On it, his brother Rory wrote: “I couldn’t wait to see what you grew up to be. I half-thought I might be the brother of a future celebrity. I wanted to be that older brother that was always there for you. I would’ve done anything for you… But now you’re gone and I can’t.”