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Massachusetts may ban synthetic, designer drugs

Representatives in the Massachusetts Legislature are considering a bill that, if passed, would immediately pull synthetic drugs from store shelves if the Commissioner on public health deems them a dangerous substance. The proposed bill would allow the Commissioner to classify any questionable substance as a Schedule 1 drug on a temporary basis.

Parents, health officials and substance abuse counselors have advocated for a temporary ban of all synthetic drugs until state officials decide whether or not to classify them as illegal permanently. Their push was prompted by the state's slow response to the rise in the use of bath salts. The Legislature took over two years to ban the substance, while people around the state continued to be negatively affected, public health officials have said.

According to the legislation, the Commissioner could classify a narcotic, chemical or substance as a Schedule 1 drug on a temporary basis if it "is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety and is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare."

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) defines Schedule 1 drugs as substances with no currently accepted medicinal purpose and with a high potential for abuse. These include heroin, LSD, cocaine and marijuana.

Synthetic drugs companies market their products toward teens with bright and exciting packaging. And although most are marked as "not for human consumption," that only entices adolescents more.

If you are worried that your teen is abusing designer drugs, it may be time to seek professional help. Call Intervention Services today to schedule an experienced interventionist who can guide you through this difficult time.

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