Synthetic drugs have become an increasing issue in the United States over the past few years, and law enforcement has struggled to keep up. Though 26 versions of synthetic substances have been legally banned, more than 250 different types of synthetic drugs are still being sold on the street, according to Roll Call. By simply varying the production process to create a differently composed chemical substance, underground chemists have managed to sidestep the laws and continue to create a sellable product that produces the effects desired by consumers.
Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa is the Co-Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. At a hearing, he said: “A change of a molecule or two to a banned drug is sometimes enough to make a new and legal alternative.”
There may be some good news, however: Since the 2012 ban, there has been a slight decrease in the number of emergency room visits and poison control center calls related to the use of synthetic drugs. Unfortunately, the use of these substances is continuing, and many suspect that the reduction in emergency room visits and poison control center calls has more to do with fear of encountering legal trouble than it does with a reduction in the overall use of these drugs.
Dangerous Chemical Compounds
Of the more than 250 versions of synthetic substances believed to currently be in circulation, Spice, salvia and bath salts are among the most common. Though the packages may remain the same or similar, the effects of the drugs are ever-changing as drug-makers change their production process. This means that users may be dealing with a different substance and different effects each time they purchase the drug. The dose they took without incident the week before may cause medical issues this week when the chemical makeup of the drug changes.
Another issue is that because synthetic drugs are so new, there has been little time to do extensive studies into the effects of these substances. As a result, no one can know for sure what the long-term effects of chronic abuse of these drugs will be or all the ways in which they may cause harm.
New but Treatable
Though synthetic drugs have not been in use for long, dependence upon and chronic abuse of these drugs are highly treatable. Here at Alta Mira, we can help your loved one break free from substance abuse and learn how to live a life based on health, wellness and balance. Call now for more information.