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Synthetic drugs fact sheet

American College of Emergency Physicians – 2012

A fact sheet on synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Presents data on increase in use of these drugs (particularly by youth), as recorded by emergency physicians and poison control centers. Explains what synthetic marijuana is, noting growth in use by adolescents. Describes what bath salts are, noting that they are a derivative of a Schedule I drug, but circumvent the Controlled Substances Act with “not for human consumption” labeling. Reports that the majority of users are 25 and younger. Describes harmful effects of synthetic drugs on the user. Presents case studies illustrating dangerous psychotic and hallucinatory episodes experienced by users, including one in which a bath salts user attacked children. Describes physical symptoms seen by ER physicians. Advocates for continued government intervention in controlling the chemicals used in synthetic drugs.