Minnesota Launches Synthetic Drug Awareness Website

Minnesota Launches Synthetic Drug Awareness Website

By McCarton Ackerman 08/08/14

KnowTheDangers.com is designed to educate the public about the harms synthetic drugs can cause.

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Health officials in Minnesota have launched a new website solely dedicated to warning residents about the dangers of synthetic drug use.

KnowTheDangers.com was unveiled in the city of Duluth and provides resources and information for anyone who may encounter synthetic drugs. The information includes various types of substances on the market, the type of packaging and paraphernalia associated with individual drugs, and the side effects they typically have.

“We want people to know that synthetic drugs, which until recently could be purchased in some stores, are in fact very dangerous and illegal,” said State Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “[This site] will give parents and others with young people in their lives the information they need to recognize synthetic drugs and start conversations about the substances before they cause more harm in Minnesota communities.”

Minnesota has been experiencing a synthetic drug boom in 2014, with three overdose deaths reported since the beginning of the year. State-funded gang and drug task forces seized 4,648 grams of the drugs in 2012, but the numbers soared to 1,017,152 grams the following year. A survey of over 15,000 high school students throughout the state last March also revealed that nearly 12% had used synthetic drugs.

The rise in use has come despite continued efforts from state officials to crack down on the problem. After a mass overdose on synthetic drugs at a 2011 spring break party that left one dead, Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation which banned numerous synthetics.