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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?

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

F.A.Q.

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

Synth_PoisonControl_Chart2[1]

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

Emerging Trends: Increasing Overdoses From Synthetic Cannabinoids in Several States
Emerging TrendsMay 2015 – Updated May 8, 2015 – Recent surges in hospitalizations and calls to poison control centers linked to consumption of synthetic cannabinoid products–sold under brand names like “Spice,” “K2,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and others–are being reported in several southern and northeastern U.S. states and have prompted officials to issue health warnings. [Full story]
Autopsy Shows That UND Student Died From Fentanyl Overdose

May 2015 – A University of North Dakota student who was found unresponsive in a home near campus last month died from an overdose of powdered fentanyl, an autopsy released Wednesday shows. Alex Davis, 22, of West Saint Paul, Minnesota, is believed to be the third person in the Grand Forks area who has died this year from ingesting the powerful synthetic drug. A half-dozen people are facing federal charges for dealing fentanyl and other drugs that made people sick. [Full story]

Flakka, '$5 insanity,' is increasingly popular synthetic drug kids are using with e-cigarettes
Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen deathApril 2015 – It is the latest in a series of synthetic drugs that include Ecstasy and bath salts, but officials say flakka is even easier to obtain in small quantities through the mail. Flakka’s active ingredient is a chemical compound called alpha-PVP, which is on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of the controlled substances most likely to be abused. It is usually made overseas in countries such as China and Pakistan. [Full story]

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