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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Florida Synthetic Drug Bans Reduce Sales

Florida has long been at the forefront of the battle against addiction and the substance abuse epidemic. Battling against “pill mills”, doctor shopping, as well as the synthetic drugs has been trying, but there has been some success. Ever since local and statewide bans of synthetic drug in Florida have been enacted the drugs have become much more difficult to acquire at gas stations and convenience stores, according to an experts.

Bans have reduced calls to poison control centers, there has also been a drop in visits to emergency rooms as a result of the side effects from the drugs.

In 2011, the Florida state legislature banned a number of synthetic drugs. In December 2012, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi signed an emergency rule banning 22 new synthetic drugs throughout the state.

“I think we can claim some major successes,” says Jim Hall, a researcher at Nova Southeastern University, told The Huffington Post. “Not victory. But successes. The local retail bans did have an effect. It didn’t solve the problem. But it did win a few battles.”

Unfortunately, people can still acquire synthetic marijuana and bath salts through internet purchases. There are a number of stores that are hiding the dangerous products, only selling them to regular customers, according to Lauderhill Police Chief Andrew Smalling. “We’re still finding people are able to access it,” he said. “It’s definitely gone underground.”

“The bans are working,” said David Gross, special agent supervisor with Florida's Department of Law Enforcement. “They’re not nearly as prevalent and on display. The genie is out of the bottle and they know they need to conceal it or they are going to pop up on law enforcement’s radar.”

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