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Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemical substances that are marketed as a “legal” way to achieve a high. These dangerous and often illegal drugs are considered to be a public health issue, as an increasing number of users end up in emergency rooms each year because of these substances. There are many varieties of synthetic drugs available to users, and each poses uniquely dangerous consequences. The following are five important facts to know about synthetic drug use:
- Synthetic drugs are increasingly popular: The U.S. government stated that the use of synthetic cannabinoids is “alarmingly high.” These drugs are especially popular with young people, and are the second most commonly used illegal drug used by high school seniors after marijuana.
- Synthetic cannabinoids are not the same as marijuana: While synthetic drugs are sometimes created to mirror the effects of the THC in marijuana, the psychological and physical effects of these man-made substances is often significantly more serious.
- No synthetic cannabinoids are FDA-regulated: Synthetic drugs are not monitored or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are not tested for human use. Packaging on these drugs often states “not for human use” as a way to avoid regulation and be legally sold in convenience stores and other markets.
- Synthetic drugs have many forms and many names: Not all synthetic cannabinoid products are the same. In fact, dozens of new variations of these drugs are created each year. Chemical components vary from product to product and are often marketed as “potpourri.” Other common names for these substances are “bath salts,” “K2” and “spice.”
- Serious health risks are associated with synthetic drugs: People who use these chemicals may experience severe or life-threatening side effects including heart problems, kidney failure, dehydration, paranoia, hallucinations, collapse of muscle tissue and panic attacks.
Those who use synthetic drugs often need an increasing amount of the substance to achieve the same high. The compounding effect of these dangerous chemicals can be severely damaging for abusers. For more information on synthetic drugs and available drug testing options, please contact Partners In Safety today.