This week, Congressman André Carson (D-IN) introduced H.R. 4205, which calls upon the Office of National Drug Control Policy to include a public service announcement on the dangers of synthetic drugs as part of it national youth anti-drug media campaign. This bill requires no additional funding and addresses a growing public health and safety concern.
Synthetic drugs are manufactured chemical compounds which mimic the effects of Schedule I controlled substances like methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana. Currently, many of these chemical compounds are not scheduled under federal drug laws and can be sold legally in retail stores or over the Internet.
Both the Indiana Generally Assembly and Indianapolis City-County Council have passed legislation making many of these substances illegal to possess, but these drugs, often labeled "bath salts", "plant food" or "incense," continue to be used recreationally throughout much of the nation.
According to reports by the U.S. Justice Department, more prevalent use of synthetic drugs has led to exponential growth in the number of young people being admitted to emergency rooms around the country. Congressman Carson's bill seeks to address the lack of awareness among teens and parents regarding the dangers of using synthetic drugs.
"Too many of our young people use synthetic drugs, because they do not understand the immense risks," Congressman Carson said. "Sadly, parents and teens alike don't realize that the use of these substances can be extremely dangerous and may even result in death. This legislation seeks to raise our public consciousness about the issue and helps prevent our young people from falling into the trap set by these dangerous drugs."