They carry names like Bliss and TranQuility,
but don't be fooled: Synthetic drugs can be deadly.
"These are hard drugs in pretty packages that produce effects similar to LSD and methamphetamine," said David Ferguson, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Minnesota. "At best, users are guessing at dose and have no idea what is actually in the package. The potential for an overdose is high."
(Larry Oakes, "Users Play Chemical Roulette," Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 8 2011)
Federal authorities often say that synthetic drugs are flooding the United States from overseas outposts where they are cut, packaged and shipped. But there's another side to the booming billion-dollar industry: Small-time entrepreneurs operating in the shadows of American towns and cities, are pumping out a patchwork of new drug products for big profit.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is urging conferees who are reconciling the House and Senate versions of Food and Drug Administration reform legislation to include language he authored to fight synthetic drug abuse to stay in their final conference report.
“The popularity of synthetic drugs has exploded in recent years, and they have remained relatively easy to purchase. The latest Monitoring the Future Survey indicates that one in nine high school seniors have used synthetic drugs in the past year,” Portman said in a joint letter with Senate colleagues to the conferees.
“We believe it is vital that Congress step in to ensure that these substances are banned at the federal level. This will allow the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to prevent these drugs from being distributed throughout or imported into the United States, and instead provide DEA with the authority to pursue the manufacturers of these drugs across state lines.”
Last month, Portman introduced legislation that changes the Controlled Substance Act to include synthetic drugs, something Portman says is an important step in combating the growing epidemic of designer drug abuse.
Synthetic drugs, which are chemically produced in laboratories and cause unpredictable side effects in humans, have dramatically increased in usage over the last three years.
Portman says adding those drugs to the Controlled Substance Act is the first step in making those drugs illegal and cracking down on those involved in synthetic drug production and distribution. The amendment is based on S.3190, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. (Frank Lewis, "Portman Wants Federal Ban on Synthetic Drugs," Portsmouth Daily Times, June 15 2012)
Ohio is fortunate to have a senator like Rob Portman. Senator Portman supports proactive legislation. Isn't his approach a blessing in these days of terrible drug abuse? Portman says, "We believe that parents should not have to worry that their children may buy a synthetic drug when they enter a corner store to buy milk." He understands the real hazards of these synthetic products as they relate to the present and to the future.
It is important to understand that synthetic drug use is on the rise, with national poison control centers reporting 2,900 calls in 2010 for synthetic marijuana, 6,950 calls in 2011, and 2,390 calls for the first four months of 2012. They also reported that they received 300 calls for bath salts in 2010, 6,130 calls in 2011 and 1000 calls for the first four months of 2012. In addition, the use of dangerous synthetic hallucinogens such as 2C-E has been rising.
The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act would place 28 synthetic substances on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which would make the sale and possession of these substances illegal except for qualified researchers.
According to the Food and Drug Administration and the DEA, these substances have no known medicinal qualities and are extremely dangerous. The bill is supported by the American Medical Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Administration.
Scioto County and Ohio are tightening controls and enforcement to strangle drug abuse of all kinds -- prescription drug abuse, illegal drug abuse, and synthetic drug abuse. The task is daunting. Much progress has been made, but much more work needs to be done. As our state becomes a leader in the movement, the rest of the nation often looks to Ohio for leadership and answers. I am very proud of those who identify various aspects of the health epidemic, plan effective strategies to solve the problems, and dedicate themselves to constant, meaningful actions.
As the public realizes the importance of each voice and each individual act to better life in our county and state, we understand both our deep responsibilities and our strong impact on those things that must be changed. We are becoming better men and women by believing in the goodwill and the power of simple people.
This understanding of self represents the heart of two vital institutions -- the legislative and the legal systems. We are experiencing a rebirth of democracy by taking an active role in control and reform by the people. And, we are teaching our children that they too must defend their freedoms and their unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
The most obvious need in our country is simply met when we learn to once again say "I can." The most needed change in our country is begun when we learn to once again say, "I will work with you to see it through." At the present, those who inflict harm and suffering upon us have effectively taken the "I" from individuals who would rather gripe, ride the fence, or ignore the obvious Big concern instead of standing up and taking action.
By refusing to say things like "It can't be done" or "I've got no control over it" or "Whatever I do won't make a difference," we elevate the weaker wills of others. No one taking action is trying to be a martyr or to be a divine savior in their efforts. Instead, they are demonstrating the effective production of teamwork. This reliance on initiative and cooperation can and will defeat Big Money, Big Business, Big Government, and Big Law. That is, if the American people still believe in themselves.
No important change can be completed with haste. As much as we want immediate reform in many areas of our lives, we must remember the long, slow slide we have taken to get to our present lowly state. It takes a lot of time to undo the damage done. A good team must defeat many opponents to achieve their goal.
Are you a team player in "it" for the long run? Then, believe me, you can make a difference and you will positively influence others and save lives. If this sounds like your idea of a new Scioto County, a new Ohio, and a new America, just let me know you say, "I can. I can help you."
Thank you, Senator Rob Portman. We know your good intentions.
Here is the text of the act:
S 3190 IS
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to place synthetic drugs in Schedule I.
Mr. PORTMAN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
May 16, 2012
- Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
- This Act may be cited as the ‘Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012’.
SEC. 2. ADDITION OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS TO SCHEDULE I OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT.
- (a) Cannabimimetic Agents- Schedule I, as set forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘(d)(1) Unless specifically exempted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of cannabimimetic agents, or which contains their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation.(b) Other Drugs- Schedule I of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended in subsection (c) by adding at the end the following:
‘(2) In paragraph (1):
‘(A) The term ‘cannabimimetic agents’ means any substance that is a cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 receptor) agonist as demonstrated by binding studies and functional assays within any of the following structural classes:
‘(i) 2-(3-hydroxycyclohexyl)phenol with substitution at the 5-position of the phenolic ring by alkyl or alkenyl, whether or not substituted on the cyclohexyl ring to any extent.‘(B) Such term includes--
‘(ii) 3-(1-naphthoyl)indole or 3-(1-naphthylmethane)indole by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the indole ring, whether or not further substituted on the indole ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the naphthoyl or naphthyl ring to any extent.
‘(iii) 3-(1-naphthoyl)pyrrole by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the pyrrole ring, whether or not further substituted in the pyrrole ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the naphthoyl ring to any extent.
‘(iv) 1-(1-naphthylmethylene)indene by substitution of the 3-position of the indene ring, whether or not further substituted in the indene ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the naphthyl ring to any extent.
‘(v) 3-phenylacetylindole or 3-benzoylindole by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the indole ring, whether or not further substituted in the indole ring to any extent, whether or not substituted on the phenyl ring to any extent.
‘(i) 5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (CP-47,497);
‘(ii) 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol or CP-47,497 C8-homolog);
‘(iii) 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-018 and AM678);
‘(iv) 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-073);
‘(v) 1-hexyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-019);
‘(vi) 1-[2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-200);
‘(vii) 1-pentyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (JWH-250);
‘(viii) 1-pentyl-3-[1-(4-methoxynaphthoyl)]indole (JWH-081);
‘(ix) 1-pentyl-3-(4-methyl-1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-122);
‘(x) 1-pentyl-3-(4-chloro-1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-398);
‘(xi) 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (AM2201);
‘(xii) 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-3-(2-iodobenzoyl)indole (AM694);
‘(xiii) 1-pentyl-3-[(4-methoxy)-benzoyl]indole (SR-19 and RCS-4);
‘(xiv) 1-cyclohexylethyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (SR-18 and RCS-8); and
‘(xv) 1-pentyl-3-(2-chlorophenylacetyl)indole (JWH-203).’.
‘(18) 4-methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone).
‘(19) 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).
‘(20) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-E).
‘(21) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-D).
‘(22) 2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-C).
‘(23) 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-I).
‘(24) 2-[4-(Ethylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-2).
‘(25) 2-[4-(Isopropylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-4).
‘(26) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-H).
‘(27) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-nitro-phenyl)ethanamine (2C-N).
‘(28) 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-(n)-propylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-P).’.
SEC. 3. TEMPORARY SCHEDULING TO AVOID IMMINENT HAZARDS TO PUBLIC SAFETY EXPANSION.
- Section 201(h)(2) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 811(h)(2)) is amended--
- (1) by striking ‘one year’ and inserting ‘2 years’; and
(2) by striking ‘six months’ and inserting ‘1 year’.