Given the growing concern of synthetic drugs and growing numbers of deaths associated with such drug use, Midstate police are doing more and looking for information to catch and prosecute those who are selling the drugs to others.
Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about synthetic drugs and the harms these specific drugs can do to the body.
Q: Why could synthetic drugs have a more detrimental effect on the body than other controlled substances, such as marijuana and cocaine?
A: “Synthetic drugs can be extremely dangerous and even deadly for many reasons. These drugs can contain deadly toxins and other chemicals used in their production. Often times, these substances can be laced with other drugs, which can increase the chances of overdose and death. The extreme behaviors related to some of these drugs, such as bath salts, can put users in extremely dangerous situations.”
Q: What types of short-term effects can synthetic drugs have on the body?
A: “Confusion, anxiety, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, extreme sedation, coma and even death can result from use of synthetic drugs. Vomiting while intoxicated with these drugs can lead to choking and severe pneumonia.”
Q: What are the long-term effects of synthetic drug usage?
A: “Long-term use can lead to memory loss, effects on intelligence and addiction. Like most addictive drugs, these substances can lead those that use them to drop out of school, lose their job and have problems with family and other relationships.”
Q: What should someone do if they believe a person has ingested synthetic drugs, and how should they calm the person if he or she is hallucinating?
A: “If synthetic drug use is suspected, one should seek medical attention by calling 911. Limiting stimulation by placing the person in a quiet, dark room until help arrives can help as well.”
Q: How does the medical community keep up with the growing list of synthetic drug types?
A: “The list has become overwhelming. Keeping up with the number of drugs out there requires continued learning and attention to local trends.”