Legislators Use Variety of Approaches in 2016 to Combat New Synthetic Drugs

In the past year, federal and state policymakers have taken a number of steps to combat synthetic drugs, also known as “novel psychoactive substances (NPS),” according to Jonathan Woodruff, Senior Legislative Attorney at the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL).

Legislators placed many substances into Schedule I of state and federal controlled substance lists, thereby making them illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess unless specifically authorized. They also created and/or enhanced criminal penalties for people or businesses found producing or selling the banned substances.

Full story of combating new synthetic drugs at drugfree.org

Use of Synthetic Drugs Increasing, National Survey Suggests

A national survey suggests use of synthetic drugs increased from 2009 to 2013. Many people who use these drugs also use other illicit drugs such as LSD, cocaine and Ecstasy, according to the researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center.

The survey included data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health on drug use among young people ages 12 to 34. Use of synthetic drugs was most common among males, whites, people with lower incomes and city dwellers, News-Medical.net reports. The survey looked at self-reported use of 57 new drugs. About 1 percent of respondents said they used any of the new drugs.

The findings are published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Full story of rise of synthetic drug use at drugfree.org

DEA Arrests at Least 150 People in Synthetic Drug Operation in 29 States

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced Wednesday it conducted a major crackdown on synthetic drugs that involved the arrest of at least 150 people in 29 states, and the seizure of more than $20 million in products and cash. Hundreds of thousands of packets of synthetic drugs were seized.

The operation comes a week after more than 100 people in Texas became ill from synthetic marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports. “There’s a cluster of people with severe anxiety, some with seizures, that could be because of synthetic cannaboids,” Dr. Miguel Fernandez, Director of South Texas Poison Center, told the newspaper. “I would caution people not to use them because they are not like typical marijuana.”

Full story of arrests in synthetic drug operation at drugfree.org

What you need to know about synthetic drugs

Spice, bath salts, herbal incense.

They sound like something you might find on the fragrance aisle at Target, but these are actually dangerous drugs masked as harmless fragrances, sold in convenience stores and online.

Innocent names such as Mr. Smiley hide the dangers.

No one really knows what’s in these so-called synthetic drugs. Manufacturers play a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement by constantly changing the chemical compounds of the drugs to circumvent existing laws.

Last week, Colorado health authorities announced that they — along with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are investigating a rash of hospitalizations and three deaths believed to be the result of smoking synthetic marijuana. And real marijuana is legal in Colorado.

CNN’s Drew Griffin, who got exclusive access to a federal sweep of synthetic drugs earlier this year, spoke to John Scherbenske, a Drug Enforcement Administration official who oversees its Synthetic Drugs and Chemicals section.

Full story of synthetic drugs a CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education