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Synthetic Drug Use Trends

Use of synthetic marijuana is alarmingly high. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey sponsored by National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11.4% of high school seniors used synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice or K2 in the past year, making it the second most commonly used illicit drug among seniors.

According to The American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2011 there were 6,138 calls for exposure to bath salts and 6,959 calls received related to synthetic marijuana use. Sixty percent of the cases involved patients 25 and younger.

In an Internet-based survey of adults who used synthetic marijuana, use of other psychoactive drugs was found to be common.* And, once local authorities banned K2, users expressed they continued to seek it out.

These substances have proven to cause serious adverse effects, with the potential for acute psychosis, violent behavior, seizures and cardiovascular emergencies.

*Vandrey R . Dunn KE, Fry JA, Girling ER , A survey study to characterize use of Spice products (synthetic cannabinoids). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012; 120:238-241

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