StateStats: The Real Problem of Fake Drugs: April 2011 

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Lawmakers are acting quickly to curb the growing popularity of two new manufactured drugs known as “Spice” or “K2” and “bath salts.” These drugs can cause violent reactions in users, including hallucinations, severe anxiety, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and combative behavior.

As of March 1, 19 states had banned Spice and six had banned bath salts, either through legislative or administrative action; and 38 state legislatures had introduced legislation on the legality of these substances.

Spice is a chemically engineered synthetic cannabinoid, similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. When smoked or ingested, it can produce a marijuana-like high.

MDPV and mephedrone are the active ingredients in drugs created in laboratories and marketed as “bath salts,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. These substances are structurally similar to the African plant khat that gives a stimulant buzz when chewed or made into tea. Bath salts are typically sold as a white powder and smoked, injected or snorted, giving users effects similar to cocaine, meth or ecstasy.