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Letter: More action needed to prevent tragedies from synthetic drugs

More action needed to prevent tragedies from synthetic drugs

I would like to expand on Assemblyman Michael Kearns’ June 16 Another Voice, which addressed the problems of synthetic, or designer, drugs, sometimes known as bath salts. While some have compared taking these drugs to Russian roulette, the analogy is not entirely accurate – in Russian roulette, only one chamber is loaded; with designer drugs, all chambers are loaded.

There are thousands of potential synthetic drugs (450 in the JWH series alone), drugs that are so new that lethal dosages, long-term effects and even short-term effects are unknown. The fact that many users often take these drugs in combination with each other further exacerbates the problem, and makes diagnosis and treatment of victims much more difficult. Unfortunately, unemployed chemistry majors scouring obscure journals hoping to make a quick buck by finding the next big club drug, overseas plants manufacturing these drugs in large quantities and the ease of obtaining chemical components on the Internet far outstrip efforts to curb the availability of these drugs.

Numerous deaths have already been attributed to these drugs, and action must be taken to prevent further tragedies.

David Group