The holiday season is a special time for family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. While many of these celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol, it is imperative for people to think twice before getting behind the wheel. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows an increase in DUI-related incidents in the month of December, and as such, increases the risk of traffic accidents. In an effort to bring awareness to this problem, President Obama proclaimed December 2014 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
“All Americans deserve to live long and full lives, and every child should have the chance to seize his or her future. But throughout our Nation, too many lives are tragically cut short in traffic crashes involving drunk, drugged, or distracted driving. Impaired driving not only puts the driver at risk—it threatens the lives of passengers and all others who share the road, and every year it causes the deaths of thousands of loved ones. This month, and especially during the holiday season, we dedicate ourselves to driving safely and responsibly, and to promoting these behaviors among our family and friends…To help save lives, States and local communities across our Nation will participate in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign from December 12 to January 1, reminding all Americans of their important responsibility…This holiday season, all Americans can drive responsibly and encourage their loved ones to do the same, including by designating a sober driver or making alternative transportation arrangements.” – President Barack Obama
Media sources across the country report tragic accounts of the dangerous consequences of taking synthetic drugs. These stories often involve teens who may assume that synthetic drugs are safe because they are sold and marketed by retailers as a “legal high.”
CNN recently reported a story out of North Dakota where a group of teenagers were impacted by a “mysterious white powder.” One teen was rushed to the hospital with doctors struggling to determine what caused an overdose that led to organ failure and cardiac arrest. Days later, another teen was dead, and the same mysterious white powder was involved.
CNN reported that “it took the state lab a week to identify that the mysterious powders were synthetic designer drugs — drugs that law enforcement in North Dakota had never heard of before.” The powder was identified as 2C-I-NBOMe and 2C-C-NBOMe, drugs not yet banned by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The federal prosecutor said these chemicals are designed to imitate LSD and a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be enough to get high.
The DEA reports there are an increasingly expanding array of synthetic drugs available with more than 150 synthetic substances identified. The ongoing difficulty for law enforcement agencies and drug testing laboratories is that manufacturers continue to change the chemical composition of their drugs to stay ahead of the law.
Because synthetic, or designer, drugs change frequently, our laboratory and research teams continue to work proactively to stay current with trends. We monitor an ever-changing list of substances and add compounds to our drug test panels in response to comprehensive research on drug-use patterns and positivity.
For more information, download our Synthetic Drugs brochure or contact us online.