There is a brand new collection of drugs available today and it may surprise you to know that they are legal in many states. They are known as synthetic or “designer” drugs. Don’t be fooled, though. These drugs are just as dangerous, if not more, than traditional illicit drugs.
So, how come they’re legal?
The makers of synthetic drugs are very careful not to use illegal compounds and ingredients and are therefore, able to cheat the system. They can be purchased at independently owned gas stations, tobacco shops and on the Internet. To make matters worse, these drugs reportedly cannot be detected by standard urine drug tests, which make them even more appealing to drug users.
The Dangers Of Designer Drugs
The fact that anyone can just walk into one of these stores and buy these drugs have many parents worried, and they should be. One particular synthetic drug known as bath salts has proven to have extremely dangerous and unpredictable effects. Aside from increased heart rate and blood pressure, chest pains and agitation, they may cause hallucinations, paranoia and delusions. These delusions can be very extreme and in some cases people have done unthinkable things such as taking their own lives as well as displaying other violent behaviors.
Bath salts contain the chemical mephedrone, which studies done in the United Kingdom have shown to have a high risk for addiction and overdose. The use of designer drugs increased so drastically, it was as if they appeared out of nowhere. In fact, in 2009, there were no calls made to the United States Poison Control Centers having to do with bath salts as opposed to the 302 calls received in 2010. Those numbers have jumped up tremendously to 2,237 calls in 2012, between the months of January and May alone.
What is Being Done About The Designer Drug Problem
On December 21, 2010, the American Association of Poison Control Centers issued the first advisory concerning synthetic drug abuse after over 156 bath salt affiliated calls had been received. Following the advisory, President Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Act of 2012, which banned the five chemicals consistently found in these drugs. Washington D.C. and New Jersey have also taken necessary steps to stop the making of these drugs by enacting similar bans. Unfortunately, the drug makers continue to be one step ahead of the system and find new ways to produce their drugs, such as changing the formula by one molecule, etc.
It looks like this will be an ongoing battle and only through further help and support will any progress be made. Drugs and other means of getting high have been around for thousands of years. For whatever reason, people enjoy achieving an altered state of mind. Unfortunately, the drugs seem to be getting worse and more dangerous to our physical and mental health. Drugs will be around for a while, so in the meantime educate yourself and your kids about what’s out there.
Make sure your child’s school has some type of drug education program. In addition to this educate yourself on the signs of this type of drug use and how to help someone. If you know someone who is abusing designer drugs make sure that they get into a program.
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