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6 Indest-2008-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On August 15, 2016, 19 year old Austin Harrouff was accused of killing a couple and chewing off the dead man’s face in Jupiter, Florida. As Harrouff was being taken into custody he allegedly stated:  “Help me, I ate something bad.” A Martin County Sheriff’s deputy reportedly asked Harrouff what he ate and Harrouff is alleged to have responded with “humans” as he spit out a piece of flesh from his mouth.

Harrouff, a Florida college student, is charged with second-degree murder for stabbing and killing John Stevens, 59, and wife Michelle, 53. The couple was killed outside of their home that evening in August.

Teen Found Bitting Man’s Face.

The couple’s neighbor, Jeff Fisher, tried to intervene and stop Harrouff from violently attacking them.  Fisher told deputies that he heard Michelle scream and ran over to the Stevens’ house to find Harrouff hitting Michelle who was lying on the garage floor in a pool of blood.  Harrouff then started attacking Fisher and stabbed him multiple times. Fisher was able to escape and call 911 for help.  Deputies found the teen in his underwear, making animal noises and biting Stevens’ face.

When deputies arrived on scene, Harrouff was ordered at gun point to back off of the victims, but he continued to bite off pieces of flesh from John Stevens’ face. The deputies then took out a stun gun, but it did not effect the teen.  Deputies tried to handcuff Harrouff, but had a difficult time trying to contain him.  The deputies did not shoot at Harrouff because they were afraid they would hit Stevens.  Finally, deputies brought in a police dog and the dog’s bites gave deputies the chance to subdue Harrouff.

Evidence Found.

Crime Scene investigators found several sharp bladed weapons at the scene.  A corkscrew, a pair of scissors and a folded knife were also found.  Also taken from the crime scene was an ice tea bottle filled with a blue liquid and a bottle of scotch.  It is still unsure if those items belonged to Harrouff or were in his possession.

A little less than an hour before the attack, Harrouff was at a restaurant about four miles from the victims’ house having dinner with his dad, sister and a friend.  Harrouff and his father had an argument while at the restaurant.  Surveillance cameras show Harrouff walking calmly out of the restaurant alone.  Forty-five minutes later, Harrouff attacked the couple.

Harrouff’s mother was not aware of the attack and reported him missing to the police.  She said that her son had been acting strange recently. Harrouff had told her that same week that he felt immortal, had superpowers and that he was sent here to help people.

Further Tests To Be Made.

The FBI is running tests to determine if Harrouff was on drugs. “The hospital checked what they call routine drug screen for marijuana, cocaine, opioids and a few other drugs, “there was none of that in his system,” said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. Harrouff was hospitalized for about two months after the attack.  While Harrouff was at the hospital surrounded by law enforcement, a detective observed the teen spit out human flesh from his mouth.  According to the arrest warrant, the detective also found human hair inside of his mouth.  Harrouff’s father said they also found that the teens esophagus was burned.  Sheriff Snyder said Harrouff may have ingested lawn chemicals that the couple had in their garage.

Harrouff’s mother and father gave a statement a few days after the attack voicing their condolences to the Stevens family, as well as an apology to neighbor Jeff Fisher, who tried to save John and Michelle.

The FBI has agreed to do Harrouff’s toxicology testing at their lab in Quantico, Virginia.  Results are still pending and have yet to be released.

Prosecutors say they will ask a grand jury to indict him on first-degree murder charges.  That makes Harrouff eligible for the death penalty.  Austin Harrouff remains at the Martin County Jail.

Tragic Case, but Example of Zombies Still Being Alive (Or Sort Of) and Well in Florida.

This is certainly a tragic case.  However, it is an example that shows that the abuse of zombie-making drugs and the existence of zombies is still a Florida phenomenon that is alive and well.  Anyone with zombie tendencies should stay away form all drugs or all types.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:
“Face-biting Teen: ‘I ate something bad’.” Orlando Sentinel. (November 2,2016). Print.

Price, Victoria. “Alleged Face-biting Killer Austin Harrouff Told Cops He Ate Humans In Gruesome News Report.” CBS 12 News. (October 31, 2016). Web.

The Associated Press. “Face-biting Attacker: ‘I Ate Something Bad… humans’.” ABC News. (November 1, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Synthetic drug use, dangers of designer drugs, bath salt zombies, use of bath salt and synthetic drugs on the rise, negative consequences of designer drug use, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, the fight against synthetic drugs, complex health litigation attorneys, medicated walking zombies, The Health Law Firm, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm reviews

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

6 Indest-2008-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Designer drug usage escalated into a serious issue across the United States. It came into the spotlight after raging zombie-ism and face eating reached epic proportions in places like Florida several years ago. Quick action by Florida authorities to outlaw the sale of bath salts and other artificial drugs in convenience stores and elsewhere rapidly lead to the almost disappearance of this phenomenon. The popularity of these dangerous drugs seemed to be dying down, or maybe we just weren’t hearing the stories.

For whatever reason, synthetic drugs similar to bath salts have been on the rise again and many believe they are to blame for unusually violent attacks. When taken, this type of drug can lead to nightmarish visions, paranoia, loss of control and a hunger for human flesh and often end in horrific, bloody results.

Unpredictable Behavior.

This type of drug create a condition police have come to call an “excited delirium” that makes users paranoid, violent and unpredictable. For example, a man from Ocala, Florida, died on September 17, 2016, after breaking into a home naked and biting a woman. Authorities believe he was under the influence of some kind of drugs or alcohol and do not know the exact cause of death. According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, the victim told police that the man was completely out of control.

As if zombie-like, violent, cannibalistic behavior isn’t bad enough, users of these drugs also exhibit super-human strength. In one incident, police attempted to subdue a young man believed to be on bath salts but neither a tazer hit or a police dog was able to subdue him. He was also hit with a baseball bat several times and seemed completely unfazed. He didn’t even have the mental presence of mind to scream out that notorious Florida chant known world-wide to tazer victims “Don’t taze me, Bro’.”

Bath Salt Zombies.

There have been several cannibalistic attacks that happened after the individuals took designer drugs like bath salts. Most recent, a young man in Florida stabbed a couple to death and was then seen by police gnawing on the face and abdomen of his victims. Because of this and cases like the zombie attack in Miami , many believe the use of bath salts does indeed create a monster, more specifically a walking zombie.

To read more on incidents of bath salt zombies, click here to read my prior blog.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Pacenti, John. “Bath salt, designer drug dangers rising.”Orlando Sentinel. (September 18, 2016), Print.

Dolak, Kevin. “‘Bath Salts’: Use of Dangerous Drug Increasing Across U.S..” ABC News. (June 5, 2012). Web.
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.

KeyWords: Synthetic drug use, dangers of designer drugs, bath salt zombies, use of bath salt and synthetic drugs on the rise, negative consequences of designer drug use, the fight against synthetic drugs, The Health Law Firm reviews, reviews of The Health Law Firm attorneys, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

 

2 Indest-2009-1By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The smoking-cessation drug Chantix has come into the spotlight and allegedly played a crucial role in a second violent crime. On August 8, 2016, a Maryland man was reported to have been found not criminally responsible for shooting his wife in their home in 2014 because he was found to be suffering from “involuntary intoxication” due to the drug Chantix. His wife survived.

In 2015, an Army soldier, who brutally stabbed another soldier to death in 2008, won a new hearing because the judge in his original trial refused to let him put on an involuntary intoxication defense. The soldier claimed that he was so neurologically disturbed by the drug Chantix that he was not aware of what he was doing. A military court then reduced his sentence from life without parole to 45 years. Quite the victory!

See my prior blog in which I discuss the hypnotic and mind altering effects of some sleeping medications from both first hand experience and from watching “The Simpsons.” Click here.

Involuntary Intoxication?

The idea of involuntary intoxication is not a new defense, and not every state or court agrees with it as a defense. The defense did not work in Fairfax County, Virginia, where a man who had invaded another lawyer’s home, took the lawyer and his wife hostage and then stabbed and shot them. He later claimed that his prescribed cocktail of pain and psychiatric medications made him involuntarily intoxicated. A jury disagreed, convicted Andrew Schmuhl and sentenced him to two life sentences plus 98 years. He probably wished he could get that one reduced to a mere 45 years!

Walking Zombies?

Pfizer, the maker of the anti-smoking drug Chantix, has denied that the drug has any neuropsychiatric effects that turn people into essentially walking zombies. We really cannot weigh the scientific evidence here and that is not the purpose of this blog, anyway. But McClatchy News Service reported in 2014 that more than 2,000 people had joined in lawsuits against Pfizer for various psychiatric problems, including suicide and suicidal thoughts. Pfizer has reportedly settled most of them for an estimated total of at least $299 million, McClatchy reported.

Pfizer spokesman Steven Danehy said Tuesday, “There is no reliable scientific evidence that Chantix causes serious neuropsychiatric events. In fact, the largest global clinical trial of smoking cessation medications, including varenicline, bupropion and nicotine replacement patch, which was ordered by the FDA and recently published in The Lancet also ‘did not show a significant increase in serious neuropsychiatric adverse events attributable to varenicline compared to placebo and nicotine replacement patch.”

Despite what Pfizer says, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “black box” warning on Chantix because of its potential for “serious neuropsychiatric” problems. It is the most serious warning a medication can carry and still be sold.
Of course, we feel that any drug with such properties is one which might possibly be used to instill zombie-like characteristics into normal people. Next thing you know, the government will be using it to create zombie troops who will follow orders to attack and kill without questioning them. I think some police departments may already be doing this!

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Source:

Jackman, Tom. “The stop-smoking pill made me do it’: Man found not criminally responsible for shooting wife.” The Washington Post. (August 9, 2016). Web.

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.

KeyWords: Involuntary intoxication defense, smoking-cessation drug Chantix, neuropsychiatric adverse side effects, pharmacy defense attorneys, board of pharmacy legal defense attorney attorneys, pharmaceutical class action litigation attorneys, The Health Law Firm reviews, complex health litigation attorneys, medicated walking zombies, reviews for The Health Law Firm Attorneys, Health Providers Service Organization (HPSO) insurance attorney, HPSO legal defense counsel, The Health Law Firm, the ambien effect, zombie lawyers.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

6 Indest-2008-3The second largest insurer in the country announced Wednesday they will reimburse physicians to have end-of-life discussions with patients. The discussions will be about how they would want to be kept alive, or die, if diagnosed with a terminal illness. To read the full article, click here.

The federal program that insures 55 million also added that this applies to not only illnesses but zombie attacks, too. Medicare is known for providing health care to the elderly and disabled. We have also represented many physicians who, in the past, have been arrested or pursued by Medicare because they billed for treating dead patients. Hopefully these changes will prevent doctors from getting in trouble for billing for dead patients in the future.

CMS Announced Proposal as Part of Yearly Physician Payment Rule.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the information as part of its yearly Medicare physician payment rule. This rule addresses “the value-based payment modifier and the physician feedback reporting program,” according to their website. For more information on the rule, click here.

The Proposal Settles the ‘Death Panel’ Debate.

Republican candidate in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin, created controversy with the “death panel” debate. The firestorm was ignited in 2009 when President Barack Obama announced the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Palin denounced the healthcare legislation, claiming it would produce “death panels” that would crush care for the sick. Click here for more information on the “death panel” controversy.

Zombies are Known for Slaughtering Seniors.

Zombiism is a topic that is becoming more widely known. The number of invasions is growing. The creatures are targeting people whose health is declining, or who are already disabled. Each year, the death toll rises. And many of the deceased are those who are 55 and older. Zombies are known for eating brains and guts. The un-dead creatures prey on the weak. This because they are easy to assault and their brains are filled with excess knowledge.

Fortunately, these people are the ones insured by Medicare. They will push doctors to ask the victims their preferences on how they want the end of their life to be if they are assaulted by zombies.

All Medicare Patients Should Discuss Options Before Zombies Attack.

Some of the victims survive, but will suffer irreparable injuries. These include, but are not limited to, lacerations to the head and disfigurement. With this new rule, doctors will need to provide counseling to the wounded prior to the physical trauma. This way, the doctors and patients will be prepared, should the sufferer be unable to speak.

Counseling Gives Patient The Right to Make Their Own Decision.

The counseling will take place before attacks and illnesses occur and worsen. Advance discussions will help patients and doctors be prepared for ailment. Engaging in these conversations will also give the patient greater say about how they want to die. They have the option to try every means to stay alive or discontinue life support. Those who don’t want to be on ventilators and tubes can say so in treatment talks.

Let’s say, for instance, your grandfather is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. If at the time of diagnosis the doctor questions how your grandfather wants to die, it will be settled before the condition worsens.

Or, a 65-year-old woman is walking to her home from her car at night and a creature approaches and assaults her. A passerby sees and saves her, but she still suffers injuries. Medicare care will be planned before she becomes too feeble to talk.

The plan would take effect in January. The proposal is open to public commentary for 60 days. Once the comments are received, the reimbursement rate will be determined.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late; Consult with a Health Law Attorney Experienced in Medicare and Medicaid Issues Now.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent health care providers in Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits throughout Florida and across the U.S. We also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals, occupation therapists (OTs), physical therapists (PTs), speech therapists (STs), rehabilitation therapists (RTs) and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from the Medicare or Medicaid program.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

What do you think of end-of-life discussions? Do you think they should be in place? Should physicians be reimbursed?  Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Belluck, Pam. “Medicare Plans to Pay Doctors for Counseling on End of Life.” (July 8, 2015). From: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/health/medicare-proposes-paying-doctors-for-end-of-life-counseling.html?ref=health

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Physician Fee Schedule. From: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeeSched/index.html?redirect=/PhysicianFeeSched/

Grier, Peter. “ ‘Death Panel’ Controversy Very Much Alive.” The Christian Science Monitor. (Aug. 21, 2009). From: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2009/0821/death-panel-controversy-remains-very-much-alive

Sun, Lena H. “Medicare Proposes to Pay Doctors to Have End-of-Life Care Discussions.” The Washington Post. (July 8, 2015). From:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/medicare-proposes-to-pay-doctors-to-have-end-of-life-care-discussions/2015/07/08/1d7bb436-25a7-11e5-aae2-6c4f59b050aa_story.html

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.

KeyWords: Medicare, federal health, health law, health law attorney, health law lawyer, end-of-life issues, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CMS, Medicaid, death panel, death panel debate, death panel controversy,  healthcare, health care, health care attorney, health care lawyer, physicians, physician attorney, health care legislation, Affordable Care Act, ACA, medicine, the health law firm, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations, elderly healthcare, senior health care, American Medical Association, attorney, cannibalism, cannibalistic, defense attorney, defense lawyer, doctor, Florida, Florida health attorney, Florida health lawyer, k2, laws, lawyer, legal, zombie attacks, zombie treatment, physician, prevention, zombies, zombiism

6 Indest-2008-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Synthetic drug usage has escalated into a serious issue across the United States. This topic gained attention after raging zombie-ism and face eating reached epic proportions in place like Florida.

As a direct result, the government cracked down. Hundreds of nationwide synthetic drug raids took place in May 2014. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of such drugs were served with both search and     arrest warrants by federal agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The raids took place throughout 25 states including Florida, New Mexico, Alabama, California and Colorado. Agents infiltrated   numerous homes, warehouses and smoke shops determined to bring down the synthetic drug reign. The raids involved 66 DEA cases and seven investigations led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.

The DEA has been rigorously fighting the growth of the synthetic drug market since the drugs first gained popularity. Synthetic drugs are called by various street names such as: Molly, Spice and bath salts. The chemical formulas of such hallucinogenics and narcotics are man made with several substances typically not federally regulated or labeled as illegal. The drugs imitate a feeling comparable to the effects of marijuana. This includes the development of zombie- like symptoms such as cannibalism.

No zombie attacks were reported during the DEA raids!

In 2010, the DEA motioned to ban five key ingredients used in the production of synthetic marijuana known as K2 or Spice. This does not completely obstruct synthetic drug producers however. If an ingredient is banned by the federal government, the drug manufacturers manipulate their formulas to develop new chemical mixtures. The result is an ongoing battle that seems to never come to an end.

Synthetic Drug Zombies are International.

Unfortunately, the synthetic drug boom is not constrained to U.S. borders. According to ABC News, the DEA is turning their focus to Chinese chemical manufacturers. These producers export the products to U.S. distributors, wholesalers and retailers.

Investigations show that large sums of drug proceeds have been tracked to Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Although these regions have been identified as culprits, the specific criminal organizations and recipients of the cash have yet to be established. U.S. authorities fear that a relationship between criminal terrorist groups and drug trafficking realms exist. They theorize that Middle Eastern terrorist groups utilize drug sales in order to fund illicit activities. Authorities are diligently working to identify drug trade paths in order to prevent the creation and growth of these dangerous connections.

To read more from ABC News, click here.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas, Including the Zombie Population.

In a five-day period more than 100 people in Texas overdosed on a synthetic drug labeled K2, according to TIME news. The drug, technically not banned by federal or state laws, is a mixture of dried herbs soaked in chemicals. Authorities believe the drug used by the overdose victims came from the same supplier located in Dallas. The victims exuded similar symptoms: psychosis, alerted mental status and abnormal behavior.

Many users substitute K2 for marijuana since the highs are similar. The sale of K2 is rapidly growing since vendors’ fear no legal repercussions.

To read more on the Texas overdoses, click here.

Luckily, no zombie warning alerts were necessary for the state of Texas. We, in Florida, rest easier every night, knowing that the governments of Texas, Florida and the United States eyes are upon us, protecting us from creeping zombies.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Do you think outlawing synthetic compounds is helping law enforcement? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

“Nearly 120 People Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana in 5-Day Period.” TIME. (May 6, 2014). From: http://time.com/89835/synthetic-marijuana-overdoses-k2/

Caldwell, Alicia. “Raids Target Synthetic Drugs, Sellers Across US.” The Associated Press. (May 7, 2014). From: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/raids-target-synthetic-drugs-sellers-us-23621469

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.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

7 Indest-2008-4By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

In previous blogs we’ve mentioned that Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 1175 on March 23, 2012. This bill outlawed more than 90 new forms of synthetic drugs and included bath salts, among others. It modifies Section 893.03(1)(c), Florida Statutes, by expanding the list of banned hallucinogenic substances in Schedule I of the Florida Comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Control Act. To see Florida HB 1175, click here. To see the entire list of banned substances, click here.

As you are no doubt aware, this was due, in part, to the recent outbreak of zombie attacks in the state of Florida. To see my prior blog on this, click here.

A new drug is popping up on the market with the name 2C-I or “smiles.” This drug is on the list of banned hallucinogenic substances, but has been linked to a number of deaths across the country.

Click here to learn more on the dangers of taking smiles.

Drug Called “Smiles” Initially Blamed for Actor’s Murder/Suicide.

According to CBS News, Johnny Lewis, an actor on the TV show “Sons of Anarchy,” is believed to have taken smiles before allegedly killing his landlady and falling to his death. Detectives believe the actor also had mental health issues.

To see the CBS News story, click here.

Florida’s Law Trying to Prevent Synthetic Substance Abuse.

The law that was passed in Florida put in place restrictions to prevent abuse of synthetic substances including certain synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants. Many of the synthetic substances are also commonly known as synthetic marijuana, smiles, bath salts, K2, potpourri, and incense.

The large quantities of synthetic substances are included in HB 1175 because the chemical compounds in these substances are easy to change. The ease of converting these substances into illegal drugs helps illegal drug makers, users and sellers to avoid arrest and prosecution. For example, one synthetic substance might be illegal under the Florida Comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Control Act, but a minor change in the molecular makeup might make the substance legal. Florida residents who desired to become zombies could just take one of these synthetic substances (don’t ask how). They no longer have to go to Haiti or watch “Weekend at Bernie’s” three times in a row.

Miami Zombie Prompted Idea to Ban Synthetic Drugs.

Who can forget the story of the Miami cannibal believed to have been on bath salts?

To refresh your memory, click here to see the story from CNN. Warning this does include actual video of the attack.

It was rumored that one prominent Florida lawmaker stated that banning bath salts, smiles and other synthetic drugs should help to reduce the reported acts of cannibalism and zombie-like behavior in Florida.

Manufacturers and Retailers Watch Out!

The passing of HB 1175 could mean more issues for manufacturers and retailers of any products utilizing synthetic substances such as bath salts, herbal incense, or potpourri. If you manufacture or sell any product that is composed of synthetic substances you should regularly test your products to ensure that you are in full compliance with the new law.

On October 2, 2012, a Port Orange, Florida, store owner was charged with drug possession with intent to sell. Officials accused him of selling synthetic drugs, including marijuana and bath salts.

To see the Orlando Sentinel story on this arrest, click here.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

What do you think about the ban on synthetic drugs? Do you think it is working or not working? Please submit any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Jaslow, Ryan. “‘Smiles’ Druge Implicated in Actor’s Death: What Are They?” CBS News. (September 28, 2012). From: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57522571/smiles-drug-implicated-in-actors-death-what-are-they/

Weiss, Piper. “2C-I or ‘Smiles’: The New Killer Drug Every Parent Should Know About.” Yahoo. (September 20, 2012). From: http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/2c-smiles-killer-drug-every-parent-know-234200299.html

Hernandez, Arelis. “Store Owner Accused of Selling Synthetic Drugs, Bath Salts.” Orlando Sentinel. (October 2, 2012). From: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-bath-salts-arrest-20121002,0,7437907.story

CNN. “Security Video Shows Entire Miami ‘Zombie’ Attack.” CNN. (May 30, 2012). From: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/30/security-video-shows-entire-miami-zombie-attack/

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.

 

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Well, it was fun while it lasted….As you all know 12/21/12 is the end of the world. As that is today, we would like to send a farewell to our friends and family. Most of us woke up this morning to our microwaves flashing “END”

instead of the time. That’s when we knew it was over.

Those of you who are reading this survived the apocalypse. I just hope you had the sense enough to stock up on canned goods and batteries.

Until we meet again!