Monday, June 25, 2012

Congress adds 26 new synthetic drugs to Controlled Substance Act

In light of the recent spate of cannibalism acts perpetrated by substance abusers using synthetic drugs, Congress, in a rare bipartisan moment, banned of 26 artificial drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) commended the House and Senate negotiators for promptly addressing the issue and quickly crafting the legislation banning 26 synthetic drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Two specific drugs containing synthetic components that made the list, K2 and Spice, were identified as a contributing factor for the recent cannibal cases in the U.S. The addition of these chemicals to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act are part of S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Typical schedule one substances are highly abused, not used for medical treatment in America and lack FDA safety. In addition to listing the 26 drugs, “the new law would double the length of time a substance may be temporarily placed in schedule one (from 18 to 36 months). In addition to explicitly naming 26 substances, the legislation creates a new definition for ‘cannabamimetic agents,’ creating a criteria by which similar chemical compounds are controlled,” according to the DEA. In recent years, the U.S. has seen an increase in experimentation with synthetic drugs and the DEA finds that a number of products are extremely dangerous. “Products labeled as ‘herbal incense’ have become especially popular, especially among teens and young adults,” the DEA explained. “These products consist of plant material laced with synthetic cannabinoids which, when smoked, mimic the delirious effects of THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.” According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, more than 100 substances have been synthesized. The cannibalism acts that made headlines prompted the DEA to use its emergency powers to quickly place the harmful chemicals on a banned list. One of the newly developed drugs, dimethoxyphenethylamine has been referred to as synthetic psychedelic/hallucinogens and a contributing factor for a recent death of a 19 year-old in Minnesota. Speculation still swirls around the Miami man who ate the face of a homeless man. The graphic pictures made the Internet buzz and officials warned the influence of dangerous new synthetic drugs like "bath salts" could be behind the horrific action. Among the 26 banned substances were 15 different synthetic cannabanoids that the DEA targeted as potentially deadly if misused. The American Association of Poison Control Centers recently reported that they received 6,959 calls connected to synthetic-laced marijuana in 2011, up from 2,906 in 2010. For more stories: © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved

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