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U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials on Wednesday announced the results of the “largest-ever” synthetic drug takedown, a bust that included suspects in 35 states and five countries. Agents working in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies served more than 150 arrest warrants. More than 770 pounds of synthetic drugs have been seized in the last three days, the DEA said. It’s become increasingly common, in recent years, for young people to search for legal ways to get high. Manufacturers of synthetic, “legal” drugs like spice and bath salts are raking in the cash by responding to that demand, and law enforcement officials are struggling to respond to the flood of legal drugs on the market.  The problem is that these so-called legal drugs can be highly dangerous, and young people around the country are being hospitalized for bad reactions to these “legal” highs. Wednesday also happened to be the same day a UN report was released which highlighted the growing problem with designer drugs. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said, “This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal,” it said. “Sold openly, including via the Internet, NPS (new psychoactive substances), which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs.” Names including “spice”, “meow-meow” and “bath salts” mislead young people into believing they are indulging in low-risk fun, UNODC said.  However, “the adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood”, the agency said in an annual survey. Here are the some of the most popular legal ways to get high: 1. “Spice”- Legal pot or synthetic marijuana is known as Spice, K2, Genie Silver and Yucatan Fire. It is sold as “incense” and labeled “not for human consumption.” These herbal mixtures are infused with chemicals that activate the same receptors as marijuana. The side effects, however, are much more drastic. Smoking legal pot can produce a strong high as well as psychosis, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and even death. The American Association of Poison Control has observed over a 50% increase in calls related to legal pot this year compared to last. 2. “Bath Salts”- Bath salts are sold legally online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of names, such as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Red Dove,” “Blue Silk,” “Zoom,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ocean Snow,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” “Scarface,” and “Hurricane Charlie.” Because formulations of bath salts change so often in an attempt to keep ahead of laws prohibiting their manufacture, very little is known about the chemical makeup of the drug. What we do know is that bath salts contain synthetic stimulant drugs of the amphetamine and cathinone classes, such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV), mephedrone and pyrovalerone.   Many bath salt users compare their effects to methamphetamine. These drugs are typically administered orally, by insufflation, by inhalation, or by injection, with the worst outcomes apparently associated with snorting or intravenous administration. Law enforcement officials are alarmed at the effects of these drugs, which have been known to cause paranoia and intense hallucinations. Emergency room personnel report that patients who have ingested bath salts are so highly agitated and violent that they sometimes require a whole medical team to restrain them. Sometimes even powerful sedatives are not sufficient in calming these people down. Bath started turning up regularly in the United States last year and have proliferated in recent months, alarming doctors, who say they have unusually dangerous and long-lasting effects. 3. “Meow-meow”- “Meow meow” and “MCAT” are street names for the drug mephedrone. Mephedrone is a drug that is of the amphetamine and cathione classes. Its effects are similar to cocaine, amphetamine, and MDMA. The effects come on in a head rush and it can make you feel nauseous. Generally, the effects of one dose last about 2-3 hours. Common side effects include a racing heart, paranoia, and intense hallucinations. Teeth grinding is also very common. Mephedrone comes in the form of tablets or powder which can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected. Almost nothing is known about the long-term effects of these designer drugs.  The lethal dose is unknown, and there is no information regarding the potential neurotoxicity of designer drug use. However, based on the studies that have been performed on similar substances, scientists say that it is highly likely that designer drugs have neurotoxic effects. If you or someone you love is using designer drugs, please give us a call at 800-951-6135 Sources: http://news.yahoo.com/lure-variety-designer-drugs-alarming-u-n-agency-081328328.html http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/27/19168766-feds-launch-biggest-crackdown-on-designer-drugs?lite

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