Image Courtesy : Sydney Morning Herald
United Nations has always been quite stringent on the production and supply and accountability of drugs and usage, and the recent report by UN drug agency indicated an unprecedented growth in legal highs, or drugs that that have intoxicating events but are not banned by law, and these synthetic drugs are such as ketamine, amphetamines, and artificial cannabis, and they’re taking up a larger share of the market. The latest report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime showed that there are 348 brand-new types of synthetic drugs that have appeared in over 90 nations across the world. The majority of the psychoactive substances purportedly have emerged in the last five years and that there is a possibility that the actual number of legal highs is more than the official number. The war against synthetic drug has heated up, hence the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cracked down on designer drugs in a continuing execution of Project Synergy, which chalked up more than 150 arrests and a seizure of worth over $20 million in cash and assets.
According to this report by the UN, the major problem has been in the proliferation of legal highs were attributed to the fact that they are no longer available in niche markets only. In addition to that, these legal highs are now popular among young people. The report said that the use of amphetamine-type substances in certain parts of Central and South America are more popular than cannabis or cocaine on some age groups. Certain legal highs were also observed to be popular among younger age groups as compared to traditional illicit drugs in North America and Europe.
In the latest developments, North America has seen skyrocketing rates of seizures caused by amphetamine-type stimulants, according to the report. The number of methamphetamine seizures has gone from around 10,000 in 2007 to just under 60,000 in 2012. The US has also seen an enormous rise in the number of dismantled meth labs, which suggests an increase in both the production and sale of the drug, and while the US and Canada make up one of the largest markets for new psychoactive substances in the world, the unknown ingredients found in most synthetic drugs are causing serious health problems.
According to Sarah Charlton, the head of an addictin clinic, it is a whole new world, and highlights on the fact that, half the time people don’t know what’s in them, and it’s Russian roulette. To tackle such cases, in April, police on the island of Jersey seized three kilos of NPS, and inspector Craig Jackson says that, you have no idea what is in it and no idea what damage it will do to you. These sales and supplies are usually done in a very low profile environments and while maintaining those key locations, thanks to a combination of relatively anonymous internet sales and international courier services, these drugs are showing up all over, and confounding drug enforcement officials and drug treatment centers. It has been in so many cases and occasions that the negative effects are explained and educated to the world but there have been various reasons why people take it; reasons such as effects of the hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug’s primary effects are visual. Colours and lights are sharpened, appearing stronger and brighter. There is an overall sense of happiness and everything is beautiful and magical. And those negative effects include increased blood pressure, a high body temperature, dizziness, sweating, blurred vision, tingling in hands and feet, drowsiness (but not sleepiness), impulsiveness and poor judgement.