Following an explosion in popularity throughout Phoenix
and the United States in the spring of 2010, we printed a story about the chemical compounds used in spice
and potential safety concerns. While legislators in Arizona moved to ban
several of the chemical compounds in spice early this year
, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced an emergency ban
in March on five of the most commonly used compounds in spice. While the temporary, emergency ban (which could last up to two years) is in effect, the Drug Enforcement Administration is conducting research and gathering data for a potential permanent scheduling of certain spice compounds.
Bath salts, a.k.a. "Legal Speed"
Late last year, we wrote about the emergence of bath salts
as a so-called "legal alternative" to drugs like meth and cocaine. We also reported on the synthetic compounds used in bath salts, as well as the potential dangers of snorting or injecting the salts
. Several states (not including Arizona) have instituted their own bans on bath salts, and the DEA has listed the synthetics in baths salts as "Drugs and Chemicals of Concern," but the DEA is not pursuing an emergency ban
at this time.
A pile of 2C-E powder.
2-CE, a.k.a Europa, a.k.a. "The New LSD"
This synthetic hallucinogen was created in a lab in the 1970s, and re-emerged as a recreational drug
this past spring. The 2C-E chemical remains uncontrolled in the U.S., and synthetics with similar chemical structures (2C-I and 2C-T-7) are also unscheduled substances. However, because 2-CE mimics the effects of a controlled substance (LSD), sellers can be prosecuted under the Federal Analog Act. 2C-E has been blamed for a "mass drug overdose
" (including one fatality) in Kansas earlier this year.
Kratom, a.k.a. "Opium Substitute"
Unlike the synthetic drugs listed above, Kratom is entirely organic, made from the leaves of a tree native to parts of Asia
. Though its effects are described as "euphoric" and there have been have been no reported fatal overdoses of the drug, drug enforcement officials and substance abuse counselors have expressed concern over Kratom's potential for addiction. It is currently uncontrolled in the U.S., but is listed as a "Drug and Chemical of Concern" by the DEA.