State Officials Tackle New Drug - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

State Officials Tackle New Drug

Parents listen up, the Michigan Department of Community Health has a new dangerous synthetic drug on their radar. The department announced today they've made the first step to make it illegal.

First it was K2, now another dangerous synthetic drug is gaining popularity in Michigan.

The drug is "phenethylamine" - and there have been 19 cases across the state where people have been sent to the emergency department or have been combative with law enforcement.

Officials say the drug mimics the effects of Methamphetamine and they're seeing teens to young adults using it most. The new K2 law passed back in June and allows the Department of Community Health to issue an imminent danger notification, requesting that the Board of Pharmacy make new compounds that could be dangerous, illegal.

So the department asked Michigan State Police to find out if Phenethylamine was popping up in the state. Michigan State Police labs found cases in Marquette, Grand Rapids, Sterling Heights and Northville. Officials say its coming in from overseas and being sold here, usually online.

Sgt. Chris Hawkins with Michigan State Police says "The compound is marketed in a number of ways, it's sold as tea, it's sometimes sold as potpourri and can also be sold as an herbal form of tobacco."

But it's not the plant that is getting them high, it comes from the chemical compound being sprayed on it. The good thing though, there isn't much evidence to show it has hit retailers, yet.

There have been five deaths from this drug nationwide. It's why officials want to make it illegal in the state, before it starts hitting store shelves and becoming a bigger problem. Now this is the first time they are putting the new K2 law to use, hopefully making the whole process much faster, taking only a couple of weeks compared to months.

Officials say the hard part with this drug is it doesn't go by any common street names; it also doesn't have a common form of packaging.

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