Legal But Not Safe
Beginning with the advent of synthetic marijuana, artificial narcotics have been steadily growing in popularity over the last decade. These drugs can be referred to as any number of street names, such as “spice” or “legal.” It earned the latter of these two nicknames, mostly from inconsistent legislation surrounding the drug. Due to loopholes in the legal system, it is very difficult to criminalize all synthetic cannabinoids. When one substance becomes illegal, chemists producing these drugs have only to change one or two compounds at the end of the chemical sequence, and the new substance is technically a “research chemical” until it is also eventually banned. By constantly being prepared to shift production to a new and slightly different chemical formula, and by marketing these chemicals as “not for human consumption,” drug manufacturers have been consistently able to skate past legal barriers and continue pawning off their dangerous products in the United States.
Unfortunately, the same concept applies to many other narcotics you might find on the shelves. The chemical commonly-known-as “bath salts” can really be one of many different chemical combinations. These substances attempt to imitate popular stimulants, such as amphetamines or MDMA. However, with the constantly changing chemical properties come some unexpected side effects. Extreme agitation, panic attacks, and unreasonable distrust of others are some of the most common ones, and there have even been isolated reports of violent cannibalism associated with the abuse of the drug. The problem with a substance like this is there is a vast panorama of effects and side effects associated with it, and often these can’t be predicted or even distinguished between one another. This means quite often, the most dangerous and unpredictable drugs you could use are found right on the shelves of your local gas station.
A popular and misguided opinion taking hold of people in the past ten years or so is that “if it isn’t illegal, it must be safe.” Drugs such as Spice, Bath Salts, Kratom, to name a few, have all at one time or another been legal in the United States. They have also all been proven to have a wide range of unwanted and unadvertised side effects and have ruined hundreds of thousands of lives. The widespread availability of these drugs has led people to mistakenly believe they are safer and allowed people to feed their addiction more often than they otherwise would be.
To make matters worse, studies have shown these drugs are compulsively addictive, and discontinuing use may result in heavy withdrawal symptoms. Do yourself a favor, and don’t get caught up with these deceptively dangerous substances. Just because you can buy it at a gas station does not mean it is any safer than illegal drugs—quite the opposite. There hasn’t been enough documentation on these new drugs to even know for sure what the long-term effects are. Don’t make your brain the subject of unregulated chemical experiments by taking synthetic drugs.