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Raising Awareness Synthetic Drugs

DEA Synthetic Drug PictureThe illicit use and abuse of synthetic drugs represents an emerging and
ongoing public health threat in california. The fentanyl crisis specifically,
has impacted communities across the state, leading to a sharp increase
in fentanyl poisonings and deaths in recent years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert in
December 2020, because of an increase in synthetic opioids in the
western United States.

A synthetic drug is a drug with properties and effects similar to a known hallucinogen or narcotic but
having a slightly altered chemical structure, especially such a drug created in order to evade existing
restrictions against illegal substances

Synthetic drugs include but are not limited to synthetic cannabinoids (“synthetic marijuana,” “spice,” “k2”),
methamphetamines, bath salts, and fentanyl

Bath salt stimulant products are sold in powder form in small plastic or foil packages under various brand
names. Mephedron is a fine white, off-white, or slightly yellow-colored powder. It can also be found in
tablet or capsule form. Bath salts are usually ingested by sniffing/snorting. They can also be taken orally,
smoked, or put into a solution and injected into veins. Young people are using the white-powder as fake
cocaine and many of them are ending up in emergency rooms and mental hospitals.

People who abuse these substances have reported agitation, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, depression,
paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures, and panic attacks. Users have also reported effects
including impaired perception of reality, reduced motor control, and decreased ability to think clearly.
Cathinone derivatives act as central nervous system stimulants causing rapid heart rate (which may lead
to heart attacks and stroke), chest pains, nosebleeds, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.

Spice, K2 and several other products are a type of synthetic marijuana. The drug consists of plant
material coated with synthetic chemicals meant to produce a high similar to marijuana. It is a toxic
chemical that can be sprayed onto anything that burns. According to research presented at the American
Psychiatric Association meeting, Spice can cause a lengthy bout of psychosis in some users. Symptoms
include auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and thoughts of suicide.

The California Department of Public Health (“cdph”), has expounded on the extreme danger of
drugs laced with fentanyl. illicit fentanyl can be added to other drugs to make them cheaper, more
powerful, and more addictive. illicit fentanyl has been found in many drugs, including heroin,
methamphetamine, counterfeit pills, and cocaine. fentanyl mixed with any drug increases the
likelihood of a fatal overdose. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to tell if drugs have been laced
with fentanyl without additional testing, because fentanyl cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted when
used as a lacing agent.

Parent Resources Websites:

Fentanyl Awareness

Fentanyl Awareness

Fentanyl Awareness Flyer