Large amounts of designer drugs are being imported into the United States legally, CBS News reports. While several synthetic drugs were outlawed by the federal government last year, chemists have been evading the law by continually coming up with new chemical compounds different from the ones that have been banned.
Efforts to educate members of the U.S. military about the dangers of synthetic drugs, coupled with improved drug testing, are starting to have an effect, the Navy Times reports. The Navy and Marine Corps report a drop in members using Spice and bath salts.
People who are trying to fight the abuse of synthetic drugs need a centralized, national source that collects information about the latest substances, analyzes it and quickly disseminates early alerts, according to a group of experts trying to stay one step ahead of these ever-changing products.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has made three synthetic drugs, known as NBOMe compounds, illegal for the next two years. The compounds, also known as “N-Bomb,” have been responsible for the deaths of at least 19 people in the United States in the past year.
The synthetic drug known as “N-Bomb” is being seen on the streets of St. Louis, KMOX reports. The drug is also known as “Smiles,” according to Dan Duncan, with the local office of the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
A little more than a year after President Obama signed legislation banning the sale of 26 designer drugs, more than 250 types of these synthetic drugs are still sold in the United States, Roll Call reports.
Officials in New York City are considering whether to allow the Electric Zoo electronic dance music festival to return to a city park next year, after two festival attendees died this August from drug overdoses.
A nonprofit drug education group will be on hand at the TomorrowWorld electronic dance music festival in Atlanta on Friday to give advice on the dangers of using Molly and other party drugs. The group will also tell people who choose to use the drugs how to do so more safely.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who chairs the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, called synthetic drugs “diabolical” at a hearing on the substances Wednesday. Senator Feinstein is co-sponsor of the Protecting Our Youth from Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act.
The number of people suspected of being sickened by synthetic marijuana in Colorado has risen to 150, NPR reports. Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control said they were investigating three deaths and 75 hospitalizations potentially caused by the drug.
Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are finding it difficult to win convictions against makers of synthetic drugs, who are constantly changing the chemistry of the products to stay one step ahead of the law.
Since local and statewide bans of synthetic drug sales in Florida have taken effect, the products are no longer easy to find in gas stations and convenience stores, according to an expert who tracks emerging psychoactive drugs. Calls to poison control centers have dropped, and fewer people are being rushed to the emergency room with side effects from the drugs.
A former Marine claims synthetic drugs are popular in the U.S. military, according to a segment of National Geographic’s “Inside: Secret America,” which airs tonight. The program follows him and a current Marine as they purchase bath salts in smoke shops in San Diego, according to ABC News.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and authorities in three other countries announced the arrests of dozens of people on Wednesday involved in trafficking designer drugs such as bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
The increasing popularity of designer drugs is an alarming public health problem, according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The number of new synthetic drugs rose by more than 50 percent in less than three years, the report states.