Experts Weigh In On Dangers Involved With Synthetic Drugs - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Experts Weigh In On Dangers Involved With Synthetic Drugs

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SALISBURY, Md. - After a Texas teen narrowly escapes death after smoking synthetic marijuana, many are raising the question of just how dangerous these substances can be. 

 

Violent behavior, mood swings, hallucinations and seizures are just some of the many dangerous effects synthetic drugs can have on a person's body.
"Your heart rate can be 200 beats a minute. You may be a young person, you may not think you have a heart problem, but anyone with something like that can increase your opportunity to have a stroke or some heart related problem," Wicomico County Health Department Drug Prevention Coordinator Cindy Shifler said. 

The mystery behind these drugs have baffled scientists and medical experts. " There's not a lot of research and data and information on how to handle cases of synthetic marijuana use when it gets to the hospital or emergency room. They don't know either what it means down the road health wise. They have no idea," Shifler said. 

The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 created a federal ban against compounds commonly found in synthetic drugs. We spoke with local authorities who say they have been extremely proactive when it comes to getting these drugs off the streets - however, often times it can be exceedingly difficult to regulate. "They've gotten so creative to make money. They keep putting new substances in. So if they outlaw one substance, they try to find something else so they can still - it would be flying under the radar basically," Shifler said. 

But Cindy warns synthetics can be just as harmful as illicit drugs. "You don't know what you're getting, and just because they're not regulated by the FDA doesn't mean they're safe."

Cindy says the health department is planning to gather data on these drugs, checking convenient stores across the area to find out if they're selling them. 

 

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