Across the country, it seems that “bath salts zombies” may be becoming extinct. According to the American Association of Poison Control, there have been 833 Poison Control calls nationwide regarding synthetic drug overdoses so far in 2013. However, just one year earlier, there were 2,691 cases, and in 2011, there were more than 6,100 overdose cases recorded. The statistics are trending the same in Florida.
This is leading law enforcement officials to speculate that criminalizing the sale of synthetic drugs, known as “bath salts,” “Molly,” “K2,” “Spice” and “Scooby Snacks,” is deterring people from using these drugs. These drugs are believed by many regulators and law enforcement officials to cause zombie-like behaviors in abusers.
Florida Has Worked to Outlaw the Synthetic Zombie Drugs.
In 2011, synthetic drugs could be found in gas stations and head shops all over Florida. However, Florida Attorney General (AG) Pam Bondi led the fight to criminalize 26 different forms of synthetic drugs. As recently as October 2013, she updated the list of outlawed drugs. This is because the chemical compounds of these drugs are continuously tweaked by manufacturers in an attempt to outpace the law. Click here to read a previous blog, I wrote on this issue.
In March 2013, law enforcement officials in Florida’s Orange and Volusia Counties ordered all synthetic drugs off store shelves. Anyone who sells, manufactures or delivers the synthetic drugs in Florida could be charged with a third-degree felony.
DEA Outlaws Three More Synthetic Drugs for Two Years.
On November 15, 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) made three more synthetic drugs illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for the next two years.
The actual chemical names of the controlled synthetic drugs are:
- 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe);
- 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe); and
- 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe).
If you think those are hard to read, try saying them three times in a row.
In a press release, the DEA states that it will work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to determine if these drugs should be made permanently illegal. Click here to read the press release from the DEA.
A drug and alcohol rehabilitation company out of Pennsylvania has created a video that shows how synthetic drugs affect a person’s nervous system. The video is called “Bath Salt Zombie.” Click here to watch it.
Since the number of bath salts zombies is down, it seems that it may be safe for Florida’s tourists, who were previously scared off by our large population of undead flesh eaters, to return to the state. Certainly we cherish our tourists, especially our British tourists, far more than our zombies.
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Do you think continuously outlawing these synthetic compounds is helping law enforcement? Have you seen the effects of synthetic drugs? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.
Singer, Stacey. “Super-Human Strength, Agitation, Cuffs: An ER Doctor is Happy to See “Bath Salts” Cases Wane.” The Palm Beach Post. (November 19, 2013). From: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/palm-beach-health-beat/2013/11/17/super-human-strength-agitation-cuffs-an-er-doctor-is-happy-to-see-bath-salts-cases-wane/
DEA Public Affairs. “Three More Snythetic Drugs Become Illegal for at Least Two Years.” Drug Enforcement Administration. (November 15, 2013). From: http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/hq/2013/hq111513.shtml
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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