Designer drugs hit dangerous lows to bring new highs | Science News

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Designer drugs hit dangerous lows to bring new highs

Illicit drugs are staying one step ahead of law enforcement, and users are paying the price

By
3:00pm, May 5, 2015
Bath salts

DRUGS BY DESIGN Bath salts (above) are packaged as a product one might use in the tub. They’ve been linked to deaths.

The 18-year-old had stabbed himself four times in the neck and chest with a pair of scissors. Alone in his dorm room, he had suddenly felt trapped, convinced that the only way to get out was to kill himself.

When he woke up hours later in a pool of blood, the psychedelic trip that had gripped him was waning. Horrified, he managed to call an ambulance. As he recovered, the college student told Joji Suzuki, an addiction psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, that he had taken LSD.

Suzuki was suspicious. Months earlier, in the summer of 2013, another student had come in with stab wounds in his back. He claimed to have taken magic mushrooms and said that he had stabbed himself. But psychedelic mushrooms don’t make people violent, and stabbing oneself in the back is not easy to do. Suzuki suspects that the young man with the back wound may have been covering for a friend who was also high. A month later the student was back. He spent five days

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