Sold with names including “bath salts”, “spice”, and meow-meow”, new synthetic designer drugs evade existing laws drugs and offer life threatening consequences for users. There are now 251 dangerous psychoactive drugs, which is a 50% increase over the last three years. Young people are lured into thinking the drugs pose no risk, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said.
“This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal,” the agency said. “Sold openly, including via the Internet, NPS (new psychoactive substances), which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. They are “proliferating at an unprecedented rate and posing unforeseen public health challenges.”
The new synthetic designer drugs are created by slightly changing the molecular structure of existing legal drugs, resulting in new drugs that elude national and international laws. The major issue is that users can never be fully certain what they are putting into their bodies.
The UNODC adds, “The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood. While the use of traditional drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, seems to be declining in some parts of the world, prescription drug abuse and new psychoactive substance abuse is growing.”
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