Luc Figueiredo Miller 0

Support the Baltimore City Statement on the Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

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The Baltimore Statement on the Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

Baltimore City must take a stand against synthetic drugs and commit to keep these dangerous products away from our youth, off our streets and out of our City! Synthetic drugs are a growing crisis in Baltimore City and around the country. These products are manufactured for abuse and pose immense health risks to Baltimore City residents - especially our youth.

Synthetic drugs are man-made chemical compounds that claim to mimic the effects of marijuana and amphetamines. Marketed as “safe” or “legal” alternatives to street drugs, synthetic drugs are often labeled “not for human consumption” in order to avoid Food and Drug Administration regulatory oversight. Though we have made considerable strides to improve the wellbeing of our residents, preventing the proliferation of synthetic drugs is critical to protecting the public health of our City.

These substances are most popular among young people. Nationally, one in nine 12th graders reported using synthetic drugs in the past year. Of the illicit substances used by high-school seniors, they rank second only to marijuana. The total number of synthetic drugs available is also growing. In 2012, 158 new synthetic drugs were identified.

In Baltimore City, emergency physicians are reporting a marked increase in the number of people coming to the ER after use. These are mostly young people who come in completely unresponsive with severe symptoms.

Currently, the Baltimore City Health Department is presenting a bill to the City Council that would ban the sale of synthetic drugs by retailers with a potential fine of $1000 per packet. Violators would also be at risk of losing their license to operate. We must work together to make sure that our stores are not selling synthetic drugs. We must encourage stores not to sell these drugs and to demonstrate that commitment by displaying the “I’m not a drug dealer” sign in their establishment. We must support those retailers who do make this commitment and encourage others to do so. We must commit to reporting those stores who do sell synthetic drugs by calling 311. We must commit to talking to our young people about the dangers of synthetic drugs. Together, we can make sure that Baltimore City is free from synthetic drugs and our youth are not exposed to these dangerous substances.

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