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Gov. Scott Signs Bill – Bans 27 Chemicals Used In Synthetic Drugs

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Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law which effectively bans 27 chemical compounds used to manufacture synthetic drugs. These drugs, which include bath salts, spice, k-2, and 2C-i (smiles) have become a huge problem all across the United States. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports that calls related to synthetic drugs quadrupled between 2010 and 2012. Synthetic drugs are chemical compounds that imitate the effects of narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, and  hallucinogens such as LSD and marijuana. They are extremely dangerous because the manufacturers of these drugs have been able to stay ahead of lawmakers who ban the substances by slightly altering the chemical composition of the drugs.  This new law shows how Florida is staying proactive to ban all synthetic drugs and keeping them out of the hands of the teens who have been abusing them.

Reasons Synthetic Drugs Are Dangerous

Synthetic drugs are developed by chemists to mimic the effects of narcotics but they are not federally regulated.  As a result, individuals are able to legally purchase synthetic drugs from places like smoke shops, gas stations, and convenience stores.  According to the AAPCC, 60% of phone calls to poison control centers about synthetic drug overdoses involved people under the age of 25-years-old.  Often, teens have the misconception that synthetic drugs are safe because they can be obtained legally. The real danger is that a substance like Spice is marketed to imitate the effects of marijuana, but not everyone has a similar reaction.  Acute reactions to synthetic drugs have caused some individuals to actually die and others to experience prolonged psychosis for several days or weeks at a time.  Drugs like bath salts, spice, and 2C-i are not put through clinical testing before being sold to consumers, so there is no way to know for sure how a person will react to taking them.

Staying Ahead of Drug Manufacturers

Through slight changes within the composition of the drug, manufacturers can exploit these loopholes in order to avoid legal barriers of selling them.  These technicalities within the law present obstacles for those in the battle against synthetic drug creation and distribution.  The chemists creating these drugs can slightly alter their formula and then remarket an almost identical drug as something completely different.  This has been the biggest problem with outlawing synthetic drugs and continues to be an issue. It’s up to congress and the law makers in every state to remain as watchdogs over these substances and ban each new compound as a schedule-I controlled substance as soon as possible.  This process keeps the drugs off the shelves at convenience stores and out of the hands of teens who could abuse them and wind up in the hospital or worse.  If you or anyone you know is struggling with a substance abuse problem, please contact The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.

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