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Easy to find synthetic drugs pose an alarming, increasing threat

In the series, “A Lethal Dose,” the Star Tribune addresses alarming facts about synthetic drugs. In part II, the Star Tribune reveals how simply it is to obtain these highly dangerous chemicals. All it takes is a credit card and the Internet. The substances are often marketed as harmless bath salts, herbal incense or research chemicals. To find out just how dangerous these drugs are, the Star Tribune ordered 30 different types “from dealers in the United States and overseas” with plans to have the drugs tested.

The majority of the packages arrived “mislabeled” and “some items came with deliberately misleading instructions on how they should be used.”

“The laboratory test results disturbed several drug experts who reviewed the findings for the newspaper. The packages contained an array of psychoactive stimulants, hallucinogens and cannabinoids. Also troubling: Concentration levels varied so much that a dose of one was many times more potent than the same dose of another — even when the products carried the same name, the experts said.”

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