The Dangers of Fake Drugs and Their Accessibility
Synthetic drugs are growing in popularity amongst teens as legal alternatives to their illicit counterparts. While these versions of the drugs are legal, that does not necessarily make them less dangerous. In fact, the dangers of fake drugs are far more serious then what most people think. Just recently in Texas a young teenage fell victim to synthetic LSD. Grant Hobson, age 16 was brain dead shortly after he ingested the legal synthetic version. Many different synthetic versions of Marijuana are readily available online and in head shops, gas stations, and convenience stores across the nation. Due to its easy accessibility and permissibility, they are extremely popular among teens, with white teen males being the most likely to use them. As a matter of fact it is the second most commonly used drug among high school seniors, right behind real Marijuana according to recent estimates. Per Narconon International (a drug abuse prevention community) over 4,000 calls were made to U.S. Poison Control between 2010 and 2012 after consuming “Spice” (one of the many legal synthetic versions of marijuana).
Researchers are finding that the dangers of fake drugs such as Spice far outweigh those of its natural counterpart Marijuana. While consuming Spice does give you many of the same experiences as real Marijuana (i.e. mood), it also comes with some fairly severe side effects such as anxiety, kidney damage, and even heart attacks. The dangers of fake drugs like Spice are significantly more ubiquitous because of the synthetic cannabinoids they contain, which are far more potent then the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) that occurs in natural Marijuana. This elevated level of THC has even caused the manufacturers of these synthetic drugs to label them as “not for human consumption” yet teens are still drawn to them.
Due to the fact that there is no governing body regulating these manufacturers, there has been an increase in support for new bills that would make it easier to regulate these types of drugs state wide. While stricter laws against distribution of these synthetic drugs may curb their usage, it seems that the problem is much bigger than anticipated and that these synthetic drugs are everywhere. Just because you can walk into a gas station and purchase them does not mean the dangers of fake drugs are not there. They are easily accessible, more potent than the real thing, and not regulated by any governing body. These factors make for a scary landscape for teens thinking about using drugs and an even tougher time for those who are trying to discourage it.