New Futures joins New Hampshire communities, local law enforcement, and other groups in recognizing the significant public health and safety risk presented by the growing problem of synthetic drugs. Often marketed as legal substances, synthetic drugs are sometimes labeled as “herbal incense” or “bath salts” and sold in small pouches or packets over the internet, in tobacco and smoke shops, drug paraphernalia shops, gas stations, and convenience stores.
In late 2011, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released new information indicating that one in nine high school seniors had used “Spice” or “K2” during the last year, making synthetic marijuana the second most frequently used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors. Poison control centers operating across the nation have reported a sharp increase in the number of calls related to these substances; and hospital emergency room departments are seeing an increasing number of patients suffering from the impact of these substances.
Recognizing the significant risk presented by these substances, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration used its authority to temporarily place five synthetic cannabinoids and three “bath salt” products on Schedule I of the the Controlled Drug Act. Such temporary action is a good first step but not nearly enough to control these very dangerous products.
New Futures supports federal, state, and local efforts to ban these high risk products. New Futures is closely monitoring possible federal legislation and is working with state officials and local communities to eliminate access to these products.