Friday, May 17, 2013

DEA Schedules Three More Cannabinoid Drugs

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continued its battle against synthetic cannabinoid drugs, commonly known as "fake pot," by announcing yesterday that three more have been deemed Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act for the next two years. Synthetic cannabinoids are a family of substances that act on the brain similar to delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Those forms affected by this action were UR-144, XLR11, and AKB48.

The DEA published a notice of its intent to do this and issued a press release about it on April 12, giving makers, sellers, and other possessors of these drugs a month to rid themselves of their current stocks and to cease making or buying more. Over the past three years, smokable "herbal blends"—plant material laced with synthetic cannabinoids—have been marketed under the guise of being legal and have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults. These substances have not been approved by the FDA. The long-term physical and psychological effects of these substances and their associated products are unknown but are potentially severe, and psychotic and violent behavior has been observed in short-term users of these products. During the next two years, the DEA will work with the Department of Health and Human Services to determine if these chemicals should be made permanently illegal. Read the DEA's final order regarding the action here.

Synthetic drugs are growing rapidly in popularity, and psychiatrists and law-enforcement personnel are struggling to keep up with the epidemic. Read more in Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Psychiatric News)


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.