At least 150 people in 29 states have been arrested, and hundreds of thousands of synthetic drugs have been seized by law enforcement officials at all levels, according to a DEA press release. Synthetic drugs, often marketed as “herbal incense” or “bath salts,” are a significant cause of abuse, addiction, overdoses, and emergency department visits, indicates DEA.
The operation, known as Project Synergy, is the second phase of a nationally coordinated effort that began in December 2012. During the culmination of the first phase of the operation, more than 227 people were arrested. Both state and federal agencies have issued emergency rules and legislation in order to make sales of these drugs illegal. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, use of bath salts has been associated with racing heart, high blood pressure, and chest pains, as well as paranoia, hallucinations, and panic attacks. Combinations of multiple synthetics have been fatal in some cases.
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