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Synthetic Cannabinoids

Cannabinoid chemicals are sprayed onto plant material and smoked to appear like marijuana.
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Synthetic Cathinones

Often known as “bath salts,” cathinones contain amphetamine-like stimulants that can be ingested orally, injected or snorted.
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What is Vapor?


Liquid forms of synthetic cannabinoids are ingested using a vapor pen or electronic cigarette that produces little to no odor.
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Synthetic drug facts

Synthetic drug facts

Synthetic drugs include any substance that aims to mimic the effects of illegal chemicals and may contain stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic properties.

What to look for

What to look for

Synthetic drug packaging can range from plastic tubes or bottles to brightly colored foil packets.

What to say

What to say

If you have concern that someone you know may be using synthetic drugs, it is important address the issue directly, with the individual’s best interest in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions


Get the answers to your synthetic drug related questions.

Synthetic Cannabinoid (yellow) and Cathinone (black) Exposure Calls

Hennepin Regional Poison Control Center, January 2010 – June 2014


Past-Year Use of Illicit Drugs by High School Seniors (percent)

  • Marijuana/Hashish 36.4%
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids 11.3%
  • Hallucinogens 4.8%
  • Salvia 4.4%
  • MDMA (Ecstasy) 3.8%
  • Cocaine 2.7%

Source: 2012 National Institute on Drug Abuse

In The News

Second adult pleads guilty in overdose death of Woodbury teenager
September 2014 – A 19-year-old man from St. Cloud acknowledged quietly in court Monday that his drug dealing was responsible for the overdose death of a promising Woodbury High School honor student last winter. Alexander Lee Claussen pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court in Stillwater to third-degree murder for selling a synthetic drug, marketed as LSD, that killed 17-year-old Tara Fitzgerald on Jan. 11, just hours after she took it. Claussen is the second of five teenagers who prosecutors say were part of a county drug-dealing chain to plead guilty in the case. [Full story]
Synthetic drug dealer in Mankato deaths arrested in Chicago suburb
Mankato Dealer Arrested in ChicagoJuly 2014 – A man suspected of selling synthetic drugs linked to two deaths in Mankato, Minn. was arrested Monday morning in a Chicago suburb. Tyler Anthony Caputo, 21, of Mankato was one of 4 people arrested in March in connection with the deaths of 17-year-old Chloe Moses and 22-year-old Louis Folson. [Full story]
28 arrests for synthetic drugs in 30 hours
28 Arrests in St LouisJune 2014 – U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan had a different agenda when he called a news conference to announce the arrest of 28 people for manufacturing and selling synthetic drugs. He and others gathered at the federal court house in downtown St. Louis wanted to make sure moms and dads in the region not only knew these drugs were still being sold, but that they were being altered with toxic chemicals coming in from Asia in an attempt to avoid prosecution. [Full story with video]

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