Effects of Synthetic Drugs | VideoMichelle San Miguel | 10/24/2012
It`s becoming more common in emergency rooms around Bismarck, doctors treating patients on synthetic drugs.
"In the last several months is when they`ve just exploded in use," said St. Alexius EMS Director Dr. Gordy Laingang.
Dr. Leingang says every month about half a dozen patients coming in under the influence of synthetic drugs, though he expects the number actually using them is much greater. These synthetic drugs are sold in head shops across North Dakota. However the FDA has not approved them for medical use or for human consumption, which is often how they`re being used.
"They`re only marketed, for example, as bath salts or plant food or insect repellants but they really have no other use other than for getting people high. There really is no other use for them," Dr. Leingang said.
"There`s medication you can give people to sort of counteract the effect of what it is they took and then you for the most part kind of let whatever medication they ingested metabolize out of their system," said Sanford emergency physician Dr. Matthew Zimny.
Doctors are still learning about more these so-called designer drugs manufactured in non-government regulated labs. They`ve only been around for about five years. Doctors say what is known is its effects on the body.
"Similar to central nervous system stimulants, amphetamines, methamphetamines. People become paranoid. They start to hallucinate and so it`ll make people do things they otherwise would not have," Zimny said.
Synthetic drugs can also elevate your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and cause shortness of breath.
Dr. Leingang says some patients on these drugs come into the ER being violent toward others and themselves.