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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Substance Abuse Resources > Substance Abuse Facts > Bath Salts, K2/Spice, Synthetic Drugs

What Are Synthetic Drugs?

Photo of Bath SaltsBath salts and synthetic marijuana such as K2 and Spice are classified as synthetic drugs, which are sold in retail outlets and via the Internet under many different brand labels as "plant food" and "herbal incense," respectively. Also referred to as Synthetic Legal Intoxicating Drugs (SLIDs), these products are labeled "not for human consumption" to disguise their intended purpose in order to avoid FDA regulation.

Both bath salts and K2 are abused for their psychogenic, hallucinogenic and mood-altering effects. They are marketed and sold on the Internet as "natural" and "safe" substances. However, thousands of users have experienced unintended consequences, such as overdosing and visits to hospital emergency rooms as a result of using synthetic drugs.

Synthetic Drugs Are Illegal

Banned by state and federal governments, K2 and bath salts have proven to be a threat to public safety. In 2011, Illinois law banned synthetic drugs, making it illegal to sell or possess K2 and bath salts; prior to making them illegal, these synthetic drugs were sold in convenience stores, truck stops and smoke shops in Illinois.

In July 2012, the federal government banned more than two dozen of the most common chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.

Synthetic Drug Abuse Questions

As the largest provider of drug and alcohol abuse treatment in Illinois, Gateway Foundation understands you have a lot of questions. We realize you are looking for answers and want to know the next step in getting your spouse, friend or family member the help they need.

*Photos Courtesy of the DEA

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