Lawmakers Try to Tackle Growing Synthetic Drug Problem

Posted at: 10/09/2013 6:33 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- They can cause hallucinations and even seizures, Wednesday area law makers took on synthetic drugs and the problems that come with them.

They held a hearing at the state capitol to discuss the issue.

"We're seeing nausea, vomiting, paranoia, we're seeing seizures, we're seeing convulsions, we're seeing things we've never seen before," said Dr. Marc Conterato of North Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Conterato was just one of the health officials that gave testimony to the joint committee on the serious side effects they've seen from synthetic drugs.

"The problem with the substances is that some of these symptoms aren't going to go away, some substances are triggering psychotic reactions that persist," said Conterato.

They say these lasting effects make the issue all the more concerning.

The joint committee is hoping to come up with ways to get synthetic drugs off the street, as well as ways to treat addicts, and educate the public the dangers of these drugs. But with a ban on certain chemicals in these drugs already in place its proved tough to rid the state of synthetic drugs.

"It's a growing problem, but hopefully we're going to figure out some sort of tool that we can use to help folks," said Rep. Tina Liebling.

Lawmakers are hoping to proposals ready for this coming session to help fight the issue before it gets worse.

"These patients usually have no sense they are literally fighting until their death," said Dr. Conterato.

The committee plans to hold several additional hearings on the issue.

Again, you can view our investigation into synthetic drugs, by clicking here.