Synthetic drugs are substances that are man made, usually in some sort of clandestine lab somewhere typically in another country. They are drugs that are generally created to mimic the effects of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens or other drugs.
These chemical compounds can be every bit as dangerous as other drugs, and even more so for some people. Those who consume synthetic drugs really have no idea what they are ingesting or what effects they are going to experience. Unfortunately, despite these circumstances and dangers, more and more people are continuing to seek out and abuse synthetic drugs.
The biggest problem the United States government faces when dealing the synthetic drug crisis is that they cannot keep up with the testing of the chemical compounds. The DEA has banned dozens of compounds so far, but that pales in comparison to the over three hundred variations that manufacturers have at their disposal. The process to test and ban a certain compound is long and requires a significant amount of money. Some in government are calling for the DEA to ban all the compounds prior to testing them for safety. This would essentially make any synthetic drug illegal, whereas right now many of them are still legal and even sold in stores, as they are labeled as “not for human consumption,” even though that is the only reason they’re manufactured and purchased.
Currently there is a bill being created called The Protecting Our Youth from Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act. This bill would make it illegal to import any compound that is listed as one of the ingredients to the many different synthetic drugs on the market. The bill would also call for a committee of scientists and DEA agents to work together to police and monitor the synthetic drug market to ensure that no new compounds are being created and that people are adhering to the new law.
While young people seem to be the most at risk for consuming synthetic drugs, adults are also falling victim to the allure of a “legal high.” The synthetic drug problem cannot be ignored, especially since the number of ER visits from those suffering from the side effects of synthetic drugs rose 220 percent in one year.