The prospect that your child, a friend or spouse might begin using drugs is a frightening one, but there is at least the slight security that comes with knowing that drugs are usually difficult to obtain. Most people aren’t direct friends with a drug dealer, and in order to buy some marijuana, cocaine, heroin or other drugs it would be necessary to find a source, a task which would most likely require cautious inquiries and finally arranging a clandestine encounter to make the purchase without getting caught. Your loved ones might be at risk for drug abuse, but at least they cannot simply walk into a store and buy a trial dose or their next fix. Or can they?
Congress recently passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, which outlaws many of the chemical substances which have been identified as being active ingredients in “bath salts” and synthetic cannabis. These two new drugs have been widely available for legal purchase for several years, with users able to buy them over the internet or even in locations as conspicuous as convenience stores. According to a recent report from The Shelby Star and The Capital Gazette out of Annapolis, MD, it is still possible to find them out in the open in some gas stations, despite the fact that the recent legislation placed the designer drugs alongside marijuana, LSD and other similarly addictive drugs in Schedule I in the Schedule of Controlled Substances buy lsd.
Synthetic Drugs: Understanding the Threat
Synthetic drugs have become increasingly common in the United States, as large numbers of drug users turn to them hoping for a way to get high without the liability of being arrested for a crime. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that more than one in ten American high school seniors admit to using synthetic cannabis, which commonly goes by names such as Spice and K2, in the past year, which makes it second only to marijuana for the prevalence of drug abuse in that age group. Synthetic marijuana is commonly marketed as “herbal incense” or “plant food,” and the packages it comes in are typically marked as being not for consumption.
Similarly, the synthetic drug which produces effects similar to cocaine and methamphetamine is widely marketed as “bath salts,” though instead of using it as the name would imply, people smoke, snort or inject the substance.
Outlawing Synthetic Drugs
It would be natural to expect that as soon as a new drug becomes available it should be possible to begin having the police and other law enforcement agencies prevent it from getting into the hands of users, but this simply is not the case. Even after the authorities learn of the existence of a new drug, it is first necessary to accumulate sufficient evidence concerning it to prove that it is dangerous.
Then it is necessary to draft and gain support for legislation to ban the substance, and even after it has been passed it is further necessary for effective enforcement to engage in public awareness campaigns to educate people about the risks of the drug and the fact that it is illegal. This process is often slow according to Vista Bay drug rehab reviews. For example, synthetic marijuana was first detected in 2004, and it was legal for purchase for the subsequent eight years before the Federal Government was finally able to pass a law to ban it. Even now that it has been made illegal, public awareness still has to increase to assist law enforcement officers in finding those who are selling the drug.
A December 4, 2012 report in The Washington Informer announced plans for a local fathers organization to protest outside an Exxon gas station that was still selling synthetic marijuana within a block of four public schools in Washington D.C., several months after the President signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act into law in the very same city. Make a difference by spreading the word about synthetic drugs and make sure that your friends and loved ones understand that not only are they unsafe, they are now highly illegal.