The 2C-E drug falls into the same family as ecstasy, Dr. David Surtleff of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said, and is just the latest in a wave of popular illegal drugs.
Aside from hallucinations, ecstasy and ecstasy-like drugs "hijack" serotonin neurotransmitters, causing more serotonin to be released. The result can be a boost in energy and feelings of euphoria.
But the effects vary by individual. Researchers still don't understand the differences.
"A hallucinogen can produce bad trips," Surtleff said. "[It] can result in anxiety, despair, fear -- these drugs are unpredictable in the sensation they produce."
Drugs in the ecstasy family can also cause heart and kidney failure, as well as hyperthermia, raising body temperatures enough to cause death.
It is unclear what caused the Minnesota teen's death Thursday evening. A medical examiner is performing an autopsy but results will not be known for sometime, police said.