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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Synthetic Marijuana Use Doubles

Despite a nationwide effort to stem the flow of synthetic drugs, such as bath salts and fake pot, people are still finding ways to acquire the dangerous products with relative ease. What makes the synthetic drug crisis so difficult to get under control is the fact that chemists are constantly altering the chemicals used to manufacture them; as soon as the chemical compound is banned, synthetic drug manufacturers tweak the formula.

Over the last several years, the rate of synthetic drug use has surged dramatically, a trend that can be observed when looking at hospital emergency room cases involving such drugs. What’s more, poison control centers have had almost twice as many calls this year for synthetic marijuana since last year, NPR reports. Common synthetic marijuana brand names include Spice and K2.

Poison control centers, so far, have received 6,949 calls regarding exposures to synthetic cannabinoids this year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPC). In 2014 there were 3,680 documented exposures and 2,668 in 2013. It is easy to see that the rate of synthetic marijuana use is growing at an exponential rate.

Synthetic cannabinoids and their ilk are extremely dangerous and unpredictable; users haven’t any way of knowing what exactly they are consuming. The chemicals that are sprayed on plant matter can have a number of side effects that often require medical attention. Common side effects include:
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Psychotic Episodes
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Tremors
The majority of the chemicals used to make synthetic drugs are formulated overseas - China primarily. There is little to no oversight when it comes to making them, meaning there isn’t any testing. Synthetic drug users are test subjects by default, and the ends can be horrific and possibly fatal.

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