Police: Newest drugs ‘insane’

Synthetic drugs designed to get around recent bans

drugs-syntheticMANSFIELD — City police crime lab director Tony Tambasco is having trouble keeping up with the influx of new drugs.“It’s just been ridiculous,” he said. “It’s been insane.”

 Over the summer, Tambasco identified three multiple synthetic cannabinoids submitted from the 10-county METRICH region. Another drug, benocylidine, turned up in Ecstasy.

“We had never seen that,” Tambasco said.

In the last month, Tambasco has identified another synthetic drug, a new opioid and a hallucinogenic. In addition, an Ecstasy sample contained six different drugs.

“There’s so many in there,” the crime lab director said. “You don’t know how they’re going to interact.”

Tambasco said he gets some information from drug user forums, adding the drugs are changing.

“It’s 100 percent to evade prosecution,” he said.

In June 2011, Mansfield outlawed synthetic cannabinoids and other synthetic drugs, including bath salts, in response to the bath salts epidemic.The state approved a ban on bath salts and synthetic marijuana in October 2011. When bath salts first hit the scene, people using them experienced hallucinations and paranoia.Tambasco said bath salts are not much of a factor now.

“They have really kind of dried up,” he said.

Tambasco said additional legislation is likely. But will it be enough? “As soon as certain compounds are made illegal, the chemists just tweak the same compound to avoid the controlled substance act,” METRICH Commander Lt. Keith Porch said. “It’s a constant cat-and-mouse game.”

Porch and Tambasco said the drugs are produced in Europe or China and sold over the Internet.

“The evaluation is ongoing,” Tambasco said. “It’s not going to go away anytime soon.”

Neither is Tambasco.

“The quiet lab work is not quiet,” he said. “It’s busy, busy.” Article Link…

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