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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bipartisan Bill Aimed At Synthetic Drug Use

The uphill battle against synthetic drugs continues, forcing lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together. A bipartisan bill has been introduced by U.S. representatives aimed at the use of synthetic drugs, according to Roll Call. The American College of Emergency Physicians supports the bill.

“Unapproved synthetic drugs are destroying lives every day in the USA,” said Dr. Alex Rosenau, Immediate Past President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, in a news release. “With a wink and a nod, they are sold over the counter, claim to give users a good time, then destroy their lives, flood emergency rooms with critically sick kids, and tie up EMS and law enforcement resources.” 

Synthetic drugs, such as bath salts and fake marijuana, continue to make headlines due to a surge in emergency room cases involving the caustic substances. If passed, the bill would add more than 200 compounds used to make synthetic drugs to the Schedule I list, according to the article. Synthetic drugs have proved difficult to combat, manufacturers are constantly changing the formula to elude authorities. The bill would also aid prosecutors in synthetic drug cases.

The Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2015, was introduced by Representative Charlie Dent (R-Pennsylvania). The measure was co-sponsored by Representatives Jim Himes (D-Connecticut), David Jolly of (R-Florida), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

“These drugs are, in my judgment, more serious than the drugs that are on the Controlled Substance Act, more dangerous,” said Norton. “These are right out in the open. They’re disguised in colored wrapping with snappy names to appeal to young people and children in particular. They are cheap. Much cheaper than the dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin. They’re sold everywhere. And drugs that are sold everywhere are presumed to be safe. They are openly marketed as an alternative to dangerous drugs and they have bizarre effects.”

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