Study: Synthetic Drugs Can Have Severe Consequences

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) — The drugs are fake, but their consequences can be lethal.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the synthetic substances mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs, often selling for as little as $10.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

The chemical compounds are packaged as incense or bath salts, and marketed under names such as Spice, K2, Purple Wave, and Bliss.

But now, a new study shows while the substances are not the real thing, they are far from harmless. An analysis of poison control calls by the Associated Press finds at least 2,700 users have been sickened since January, compared with 3,200 for all of last year.

The effects can include seizures, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and extreme paranoia, with visions of monsters, demons and aliens.

An Iowa man blames the K2 marijuana substitute for the suicide of his 18-year-old son last year.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reported on “bath salts” last month. She found the products behind the counter in smoke shops and convenience stores all over the area, with names such as “Ricky Bobby,” “White Lady” and “TranQuility.”

“Bath salts” often contain powerful stimulants such as mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), neither of which have a history of being used as bath products.

Those who smoke bath salts or snort lines of them to get high end up suffering from “elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure; very agitated, very confused patients,” said Arthur Kubic of the Illinois Poison Control Center.

A string of states are considering bills to ban bath salts, including Illinois, where state Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) is proposing legislation.

K2, the fake marijuana substance, was banned in Illinois last year. Dr. Jerrold Leikin, a toxicology expert with NorthShore University HealthSystem, told CBS 2 last year that K2 might be five to 10 times more potent than real marijuana.

  • Zach Nepermann

    Ok but when are they going to ban the monsters in congress?

  • anonymous

    referring to k2 as marijuana is wildly inaccurate! you should correct that in the second paragraph.

    • mark

      “As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports, the synthetic substances mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs, often selling for as little as $10.” Where does it say it is marijuana? Why post anonymously?

  • Olaf

    Do these news agencies realize that most of the population has never even heard of ANY of these things but with the increasing news coverage it’s receiving, more and more people are becoming aware that this stuff is out there. This just makes people curious about it and causes them to seek it out when they otherwise would have never known. It’s irresponsible reporting like this that spreads the abuse of such things.

  • krain723

    Yet another example of poorly informed one sided reporting

  • MsSweet

    They need to legalize it immediately to prevent the sales of this phony product.
    Real genuine marijuana never has any of these crazy side effects.
    People desperate to mimic the real thing are now dying.

    • krain723

      No one is dying…that is an example of why reports like this are dangerous…peopl like you take it as truth without bothering to research it yourself

      • John

        Are you implying people should take these toxic knock offs just because they don’t die? A little illness or near death experiences are okay?

    • John

      Marijuana makes people stupid and slow, two things we don’t need more of in this country.

    • John

      I know right? They should make another report of how healthy these knock off drugs are! /sarcasm. Drugs are bad mmkay

  • krain723

    CBS please stop spreading misinformation

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