Synthetic Drugs May Be Legal, But That Doesn’t Make Them Safe

Addiction treatment centers help people who have a problem with any type of illicit substance. These rehab centers are not just for people who have an addiction to cocaine or heroin, but also individuals who have developed a dependence on alcohol or any other drugs. All too often, people mistakenly believe that just because something is legal or is not a well-known drug that it is safer than others. In reality, even synthetic drugs can be incredibly dangerous, and it is important for everyone to understand the dangers the use of these drugs carry.

Fox News recently reported that many synthetic drugs have names that make them sound far safer than they really are. For example, bath salts, spice and molly may all sound innocuous, but they can actually come with some very dangerous side effects. For example spice, which is synthetic marijuana, can be found in many stores marketed under names such as “K2,” “Scooby Snax” and “Mr. Smiley.” Spice can come in packaging with images on them that are clearly marketed to teens, such as the Joker, smiley faces and even Scooby Doo. While many people are under the impression that this drug is safe because it can be purchased in places such as convenience stores and gas stations, psychotic episodes, anxiety and respiratory issues have all been reported while using spice.

Synthethic drugs, real consequences

The news source spoke to Stephane Colbert, whose 19-year-old son died after he smoked “Mr. Smiley.” “I’m so surprised at how many people have not heard of this,” she told the news source. “It boggles my mind.”

Furthermore, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said that she had not heard about this drug until she took up her post, but now it is high up on her radar.

“Two months into office, I got one from Sheriff [Frank] McKeithen in Bay County, a small county in the Panhandle. And he started talking about this thing called bath salts, and I had never heard of it. And he said, ‘These things are a hallucinogenic. Kids think they can fly.’ And he was scared to death because spring break was coming up, and you have got teenagers in high rises who are hallucinating,” Bondi told the news source.

She explained that after hearing this, she called law enforcement officials and got them together to talk more about this drug. She sent two Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers to the mall to see how easy these drugs are to acquire. Bondi found that the agents got the drugs easily, brought them back to the lab and tested them, and discovered that they seemed equivalent to synthetic heroin, LSD and acid.

More on the dangers of these drugs

USA Today reported on the story of two Arizona teens who died after taking synthetic drugs that were not outlawed in the U.S. until very recently.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Obama administration is working with federal, congressional, state, local and non-governmental partners to better regulate these synthetic drugs and look for ways to help keep the public safe.

The ONDCP added that the prevalence of synthetic drugs is growing. There were 51 new synthetic cannabinoids identified in 2012, compared to two in 2009. Thankfully, at least 43 states have taken steps to control these drugs.

People need to understand that just because something is legal, that does not mean that it is safe. They need to educate themselves about synthetic drugs and all of the possible consequences of using these substances, and even consider looking into addiction treatment if they find they are using these drugs often.

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