Synthetic drug use has become increasingly popular over the last few years – chemically synthesized compounds designed to mimic the effects of traditional narcotics. While these drugs are marketed to give potential users the expectation of experiencing a familiar high, the reality is that synthetic marijuana and bath salts have unpredictable side effects that send many users to the emergency room.
New World Drugs Funding the Middle East
In major cities across the country both local and federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials have had to combat the ever growing problem of synthetic drug use. In New York City, Police Commissioner William Bratton is calling synthetic marijuana – “weaponized marijuana,” attributed to a 100 hospital emergency room visits a week, Newsweek reports.
Federal officials have determined that a large portion of the proceeds generated by the sale of synthetic marijuana ends up being funneled to the Middle East. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the funds are supporting terrorism, according to the article. Many of the places that people purchase synthetic drugs are owned by people with Middle Eastern heritage, a possible explanation for the link.
“Many of these investigations continued to uncover the massive flow of drug-related proceeds to countries in the Middle East, including Yemen, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, as well as other countries,” said the DEA.
Synthetic Drugs at a Glance
The most commonly used synthetic drugs are bath salts and synthetic marijuana. They are sold under a number of different names, such as Spice or K2, and can vary in potency and formula. Such variations, account not only for the unpredictable side effects associated with these drugs, they make it difficult to create bans on the substances. As soon as the government bans a particular formula, the manufacturers simply change the formula to stay ahead of the law.
The side effects of synthetic drugs have been responsible for suicides, homicides, and a large number of hospitalizations throughout the country. Synthetic drugs can become habit forming and lead to addiction. Poison control centers report that the common side effects of use can include:
- Increased Heart Rate
If you are or loved one is using synthetic drugs, please contact Next Step Intervention. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you start your journey of recovery.