Understanding the Signs of Synthetic Drug Abuse

Understanding the Signs of Synthetic Drug Abuse


Have you heard the terms “Spice” or “K2?” What about “bath salts?” These are not items on a normal shopping
list. Instead they are clever terms created to hide the items’ true nature that they
are synthetic drugs and growing in popularity. Ed O’Reilly from the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in Dublin is here to tell
us what’s happening with these drugs right here in Central Ohio. Ed, it’s nice to have you here. Nice to be here again. Once again, you know, it’s difficult for all of us, especially
parents, to understand what’s out there for our kids. Some of these, as you call them, are synthetic drugs. How are they different
than, I don’t know, what we would call more traditional type drugs? Well, they’re all artificially manufactured. Okay. The original, I think, push behind this was as people became aware of
the fact that there is a lot of drug testing, okay, For employers, for everyone. Employers, schools. It’s not a bad thing, actually. But, the idea
that you could artificially manufacture something that you can It isn’t now, but at the time legal, had some attraction. The problem is these are artificially manufactured drugs which they get enterprising chemists to tinker with. Like spice, for example, is synthetic marijuana. So, they’re angling for something, “okay, it’s going to be marijuana-ish”. But you don’t always know what you’re getting. Oh, you never know. That’s the problem. And what they
do with it is, basically, it’s a chemical in liquid form. And they spray it on what’s ever available. That’s where the name “spice” — sometimes they marketed it as potpourri
— it’s generally, you can spray it on wood chips Whatever they have at hand that will just spray the
chemical on. And the problem with that is they aren’t really big on quality control, okay? And so you never actually know exactly what you’re getting or what the strength of it is. So that makes these even more dangerous than traditional drugs. It does, actually. Paradoxically. People think, well, “I can buy it on the internet,
how bad can it be?”. And the answer is, “pretty darn bad”. There are compelling examples of people becoming psychotic from the consumption of
this stuff, and it’s really nothing to mess with. And we are seeing this right in Central Ohio. We are, we are. And part of it is because it used to be, about
one or two years ago, you could just buy it over the counter. Wow. Yeah. And fortunately, the Attorney General paid a little bit of attention to this and now
it’s illegal to do that. However, you can still buy it on the internet. And also, the other thing that happens is these enterprising chemists,
what they do is that they go, “we’ll just molecularly”, that’s hard to say “engineer this compound and make it slightly different so it’s not
illegal anymore. And now we can still sell it”. True enterprises out there in a bad way. Oh it is, it is. And it’s scary stuff. Can you get addicted this more easily or quickly? You can. I wouldn’t say more quickly or more easily, but it
is definitely an addictive substance. There’s no question about it. The concern we usually have about this is people start exhibiting
very dangerous, erratic behavior well before they become addicted. And I attribute this — Fortunately, the popularity of these drugs has sort of “plateaued”. It hasn’t gone away, but
it was going up very sharply. It has kind of plateaued out and I think it’s partly because of there’s been some notoriety attached to, you know, people who have done
some impressive things while under the influence of these drugs. I mean, you’ve probably heard someone was supposedly engaging
in cannibalism and all these kinds of things and that’s not overblown. People can become psychotic from some of this. So those are signs that a parent, or a friend, or a loved
one — if you see these behaviors in someone you know, that there’s something going on. Yes, absolutely. And the — First of all, there
are urine screen tests for this now. Okay? And so if you, for example, have a child or someone you
are concerned about, you can take them to an emergency room. And the other issue is you don’t really need to
find out what it is they’re using. That’s not really your job. Just pay attention to the behavior. If they’re acting erratically. And they
will be acting erratically if they’re using some of this stuff. Well, we’ve had your number on the screen, Ned. So hopefully, folks can get in touch
in touch with you if they have some issues with a loved on. As always, great conversation. Thank you. And thank you so much for joining us,
everybody. We’ll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.

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