Synthetic Drugs – K2 And Pink
Synthetic drugs are a big problem in the US, and around the world more generally. The accessibility of these “legal highs” means that users aren’t always aware of the dangers posed. It also means that the market can become flooded with unregulated products.
This ever-changing landscape means that government agencies are continually posting alerts on emerging trends to keep users safe. Two of the most important in 2016 refer to K2, one of the most well-known drugs, and a newer substance called Pink.
New York City has set out the new warning on K2 after a series of hospitalizations. Meanwhile, the DEA has placed a temporary ban on Pink over drug abuse.
One Of The Biggest Problems In The War Against Synthetic Drugs Is K2/Spice
K2 also called Spice, is one of the big problems in the world of drug abuse through synthetic substances. These legal highs are well-known, accessible and highly addictive. The additional problem here is that users are continuing to take these legal products, despite countless warnings. Addiction continues, death tolls rise, and the products remain on the shelves.
In July 2016, health officials in NYC put out new warnings about the nature of this synthetic cannabinoid to increase education. This followed an extreme incident from the 11th to 13th of the month where 130 people were hospitalized after taking these drugs. This rise in hospital admittance has led to concerns over new strains of the drug on the market.
The largest problem with this situation is that there are so many different types of legal highs out there. As discover and ban one substance, another two may take its place. That new product could have a stronger, more dangerous chemical make-up. The gamble with these products is that no-one knows precisely what is inside. The incident in July could have been a one-off or a sign of things to come.
This issue was a catalyst for the state of New York to increase legislation on these synthetic drugs to try and control the situation. 130 in two days is extreme, but the problem goes deeper than this in the region. There have been more than 8000 visits to emergency departments relating to K2/Spice.
There were also ten fatalities in New York in 2015. 90% of these victims of drug abuse were males with a median age of 37. That shows a clear market for these drugs. New York State law has since made it illegal to possess, sell or make synthetic cannabinoids. This comes with a misdemeanor offense on the sale of K2. Medical care providers must also report cases of poisoning or overdose from drugs to a poison control center within 24 hours.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration Has Also Placed New Warnings On A Substance Called Pink
There are plenty of warnings relating to cannabinoid substances like Spice, K2 and other forms of synthetic marijuana. These substances are well-known to officials, and the wider public, even if they aren’t completely understood. Unfortunately, the high demand for legal highs means that manufacturers are also looking into other types of synthetic drugs.
Pink is one such option that now been temporarily banned by the DEA. Pink is the street name for U-47700, a synthetic opioid much like heroin with a pink hue to the powder. The substance is for sale either as a powder of tablet, with the intent of mimicking illegal opioids or oxycodone.
Like many of the legal highs within synthetic marijuana, it tends to come in from China and is hard to regulate. Again, the problem comes in the sale and labeling of these synthetic drugs. We see the same “not for human consumption” labels as on Spice and K2.
It is now classed as a schedule I drug due to the likelihood of addiction and abuse, as of November 2016. This measure comes after deaths in New York and North Carolina and the seizure of drugs by law enforcement officials.
There were 46 deaths in the last year in this area, and a further 500 pills were also seized in Ohio. These pills were later confirmed to contain Pink through laboratory testing. The concern is in the potency of the substance and risk of drug abuse. Some users take it as an accompaniment to heroin or fentanyl, with no idea that it is more potent than morphine. Even a small dose can be lethal. Regular use could lead to drug abuse on a level of heroin.