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N.H. governor declares state of emergency after 44 overdoses of “spice”

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It was a bold response to a drastic situation.

The governor of New Hampshire declared a state of emergency last week after 44 reported overdoses of a synthetic marijuana known as spice.

The most sinister detail of this crisis? The drug is bubblegum-flavored. There’s no doubt who its target is.

Spice is a “designer drug” that mimics the effects of marijuana. Fortunately none of the overdoses were fatal. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

spice - narcanon.org

         Image / narcanon.org

Synthetic marijuana’s potency is unknown to buyers, who can easily ingest an overdose.

 

“These products pose a serious threat to public health, especially to young people, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to combat the recent rash of overdoses,” Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a statement.

The state of emergency authorizes public health officials to work with police to investigate and seize the product.

Spice is generally made as a potpourri-type substance that is sprayed with a chemically engineered substance similar to the active ingredient in marijuana. One reason for the high number of overdoses, one user said, is that people are not aware of how powerful the dosage of what they are smoking is.

Multiple federal and state legal bans on the drug have been initiated, but manufacturers can tweak the formula slightly and make the drug legal again. Trying to keep up is “like playing whack-a-mole,” one DEA spokesman said. The changing formulas also make the drug more dangerous, because the different brands vary in potency.

Another synthetic drug is “bath salts,” meant to imitate the effects of cocaine or crystal meth. The effects can be devastating and include suicidal or homicidal actions, convulsions, incredibly high fevers and other symptoms.

The bubblegum-flavored spice plaguing New Hampshire is called “Smacked.” The marketing of both these types of drugs is clever, with a wide variety of names such as Vanilla Sky, Blue Silk, White Rush, Ivory Wave, Hypno Tryp, Cloud Nine, Maui Wowie, Mr. Nice Guy, K2, Scooby Snacks, Bliss and others.

I have written before the horrible dangers of these synthetics drugs and the difficulties of eradicating them. Perhaps our best defense is educating people about how deadly they are.

These are a few of my blog posts:

Designer drug “bath salts pose deadly threat

Fayetteville Police seize bath salts from “smoke shops”

Police Crackdowns Target Synthetic Drugs; $1 Million in “Spice” Seized in one bust

Brothers killed on railroad tracks may have smoked spice

Purple Peddler stores hit with synthetic-drug arrests

Rooting out spice trade is tough row to hoe

Synthetic marijuana is found to cause severe kidney damage

 

So is this daring move to declare a state of emergency too drastic? I think not. We are facing this threat in North Carolina; and apparently the scourge stretches across the country.

It’s more like a national state of emergency.