Increasing Problem of Synthetic Drug Use
August 10, 2012
By Stephanie West
The illegal use of bath salts and other synthetic drugs has become increasingly widespread and poses a serious threat to public health and safety. This year in New York State, there have already been 191 emergency room visits in upstate New York as a result of using bath salts. These visits show a drastic increase from the 39 reported visits in 2011. To combat this dangerous rise in synthetic drug use, Governor Cuomo announced new regulations that will help our law enforcement keep these harmful substances from being sold and distributed in New York.
In an effort to mask their true purpose, synthetic drugs are marketed as “bath salts” or as “legal alternatives to marijuana.” They are manufactured with a chemical structure similar to illegal controlled substances to avoid existing drug laws. When consumed, these synthetic drugs produce dangerous effects similar to illegal drugs, including hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, and violent behavior as well as chest pains, increased blood pressure, and increased heart rates.
The toll-free hotline is 1-888-99SALTS (1-888-997-2587). Individuals with information about illegal distribution of bath salts or synthetic drugs are encouraged to call this hotline. These are dangerous drugs and the use of these substances is clearly a growing issue for our communities.