Was 'Anarchy' Actor on Drugs Before Killings?

Why doctors, cops and parents are growing more concerned about a party drug called "Smiles."
3:00 | 09/29/12

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Transcript for Was 'Anarchy' Actor on Drugs Before Killings?
Well by now you might have heard about the perils that come from the synthetic street drug. Known as bath salts but now there is a another designer high causing concern. -- authorities from Hollywood to the heartland is known by the street name. Smiles a -- usage and with a high they can last for hours or days bringing rush similar to -- psychedelic speed. And it has become part of the national vocabulary. Thanks to the gas -- of crimes ABC's David Wright has details. Yeah. Johnny Lewis was just another aspiring actor familiar mostly to fans of Sons of Anarchy center that at least. Now Johnny Lewis is a household name and a new. Hollywood murder mystery her ex boyfriend just found dead. Star of a tabloid tragedy Hollywood murder suicide it's one of those stories that almost seems. Too crazy to be true as tragic. Louis beat his 81 year old landlady to death. He tore her -- to pieces eyewitnesses who tried to stop him say he showed super human strength. There are reports that some sort of drugs were involved that's a possibility -- we haven't located any drugs and we're not sure about that we won't know until the toxicology report comes back from the corners office. But suffice to say anybody who acts in this kind of a manner would indicate that there may be some kind of drugs on -- if drugs were involved -- your experience. What sorts of things -- might -- Talking about. Well I think we're seeing lately here in Los Angeles and across the country -- some of these synthetic designer type drugs something like got bath salts are -- -- -- that we've heard around here called smiles. Johnny Lewis is known to have struggled with chemical dependency and violent behavior he was released from jail just five days before his death. Whether it was these particular chemicals the so called designer drugs. It's speculation at this point based on information police are hearing from people who knew him. But smiles is no laughing matter in nineteen year old -- -- man is dead after a mass overdose people have died from this stuff. Today we visited the LAP these drug lab where criminologist Jose Gonzales gave us a quick chemistry lesson while -- -- -- Carmen -- it's one of his interceptions also carbon there. For the diver over refers to died in the chemical compound is to see high street name smiles. I am completely. And fully submerged. -- can't tell in my eyes. And a second -- world. None is to CIA. On YouTube guys like poker 90704. Give trip reports raving about it. -- technically not promoting its use thirty milligrams of this. Is -- So I -- Real. And I can head this is just complete. Second -- most. Did you eat it must buy up to advocates of public that you can to swallow. But sometimes people -- it way -- seeing some people injected but this is much much less frequent usually people -- it -- don't think it. Basically you never know after -- question well. Pedophile -- means have been around for decades pioneered by an 87 year old chemist who lives in the Bay Area Alexander shall give them. A former researcher Dow Chemical with a life -- passion for psychedelic -- He's the focus of a new documentary called dirty pictures there. Shall -- is credited with rediscovering. Ecstasy drug for synthesized by Merck pharmaceuticals. In 1912. He also discovered that to -- drugs and -- but those talks about how he made them. And it's step by step and struck her -- his book hike now short for -- violent means I have known and loved -- a Bible on the subject. -- not just recipes but reviews. So he's -- -- sore. In the in addition to being a camera and at this. -- the LAPD keeps a copy of the drug. What worries you most about this. Well clearly what happens when people you know are under the influence of a drug like this it's you know anything's possible. It's possible Johnny Lewis will turn out to be the poster boy for this dangerous new drug or maybe there's another explanation when you heard about this case. Did you think. Industrial -- of these things and that's there's of those other drugs couples. Basically from. Whatever it was -- it is a tragedy. I'm David Wright for Nightline in Los Angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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