Synthetic cocaine is a dangerous and growing trend. This is according to an ABC News reported by Allison Sossaman. With this said, combating the cocaine problem becomes even more difficult for authorities. Aside from this fact, here are other things to know about this so-called alternative to cocaine.
1. It is known by different names. They are often called ivory, charge or bath salts. These are different names given to the various substitutes to the real cocaine. Each brings about various elements of hype to the user.
2. They look exactly the same as regular cocaine. According to the same ABC News article cited above, the synthetic and regular versions look the same but the former is more dangerous than the latter. As proof to this, a 20-year old man who contacted ABC said that people taking synthetic cocaine feel a different high in that people under its influence feel they are on top of the world once they have ingested the drug. As soon as they are out of the hype, they crave for more.
3. Various US states have varying takes on the problem. In Tennessee alone, Southaven and Memphis Police Departments have different reactions to the presence of synthetic cocaine in the market. The former says they are putting a stop on the proliferation of these drug substitutes but the latter says that synthetic cocaine is not a major problem in the place. While this is the case, the state as a whole, together with Arkansas and Mississippi have already passed laws in 2010 declaring a total ban against synthetic cocaine.
4. Some sell them as bath salts. Edecio Martinez, in his report for CBC news, said that experts are warning the public about the sale of synthetic cocaine as bath salts. Makers have labeled their pot with bath salts or plant feeder but the truth is it contains synthetic cocaine. Although the makers posted a warning that it is not for human consumption, the US Drug Enforcement Agency have received reports that teenagers were inhaling it.
5. It has adverse effects on users. Users have claimed that they get extreme energy and euphoria while inhaling this substance. However, it was also observed that they look more agitated than usual and can even suffer from hallucinations. Dr. Josef Thundiyil of the Orlando Regional Medical Center said that it can also cause chest pain or cardiovascular collapse.
6. There are reasons behind why the fake drug is appealing to people. The first thing emphasized in here is its cheap cost. Sold at a price of under $50, these bath salts have been bought by young people. Also, the fake drug is easily accessible through convenience stores as well as gas stations and even through the Internet. Since some appear as bath salts, young ones think that synthetic cocaine is legal.
7. Abuse of this drug may not show up on drug test results. Experts have warned parents to watch out for the use of bath salts or fake drug since signs of abuse cannot be detected even with a drug test.