Alabama health officials warn about dangers of synthetic drugs - WRBL

Alabama health officials warn about dangers of synthetic drugs

Posted: Updated:
AUBURN, Ala. - After a statewide round-up of illegal synthetic drugs, Alabama health officials are warning about their dangers. Dr. Jim McVay with the Alabama Department of Public Health says many young adults try these products thinking they are less dangerous, but he says that's not the case.

"Rapid heart rate, there can be nausea and vomiting. There can be confusion in the patient," said Dr. McVay.

These are just a few of the symptoms emergency room officials see when dealing with some patients who use synthetic drugs. The Alabama Department of Public Health says in the past 4 years the Regional Control Center at Children's of Alabama has received 173 calls about synthetic drugs. Most of the calls were from young adults. Police departments, like in Auburn, are working to keep them off the streets.

"It's a problem really everywhere because the problem with it is people never really know what's they're consuming when they use that," said Paul Register, Auburn Police Chief.

Register says his department played a role in this week's statewide roundup of synthetic drugs. They searched 2 businesses and 1 residence in the area. They found what they believe to be synthetic drugs, but they are still testing them. Dr. Jim McVay says the compound in these synthetic substances change rapidly to keep ahead of the drug schedule.

"They are spraying chemicals on any type of vegetation. Anything that will burn. These are made in back rooms, in clandestine operations. They have no idea the strength of these," said Dr. McVay.

McVay says the long term consequences can also be dangerous. Kidney failure and respiratory problems are just a few. Continual use of the drugs can cause hallucinations, confusion, and paranoia. Chief Register says his department will continue to be diligent in pursing these illegal substances.

"The packages always say not for human consumption and there's a reason for that," said Register.


Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Update: Columbus man runs himself over with car on 1st Avenue, police say

    Update: Columbus man runs himself over with car on 1st Avenue, police say

    Sunday, August 31 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-08-31 23:13:37 GMT
    Authorities were seen looking around a Black Oldsmobile in the backyard of a nearby home. Witnesses say the car struck and killed Williams.Authorities were seen looking around a Black Oldsmobile in the backyard of a nearby home. Witnesses say the car struck and killed Williams.
    Anthony Williams, 29, was run over and killed by a car near Chase Homes on 1st Avenue late Saturday night, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.
    Anthony Williams, 29, was run over and killed by a car near Chase Homes on 1st Avenue late Saturday night, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.
  • Woman robbed of $700 at knifepoint in Columbus bank parking lot, report says

    Woman robbed of $700 at knifepoint in Columbus bank parking lot, report says

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:11:34 GMT
    Two men held a 50-year-old woman at knife point and took hundreds of dollars from her in a bank parking lot Friday, according to a police report.The woman told police the attack happened after she withdrew $700 from the Wells Fargo ATM on 13th Street. She says it happened around 5:30 in the afternoon.“That is very surprising, especially in broad daylight. It's just getting outrageous these days,” said Roy Robertson, who was withdrawing money from the ATM on Saturday.The woman told News 3 she ...
    Two men held a 50-year-old woman at knife point and took hundreds of dollars from her in a bank parking lot Friday, according to a police report.The woman told police the attack happened after she withdrew $700 from the Wells Fargo ATM on 13th Street. She says it happened around 5:30 in the afternoon.“That is very surprising, especially in broad daylight. It's just getting outrageous these days,” said Roy Robertson, who was withdrawing money from the ATM on Saturday.The woman told News 3 she ...
  • Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Aug 25, 2014 07:03 PM2014-08-28 22:27:56 GMT
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
Watch Live Watch Live Religious services
  • Health WatchMore>>

  • Liberia to unseal slum cordoned off to stop Ebola

    Liberia to unseal slum cordoned off to stop Ebola

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:10 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:10:28 GMT
    The World Health Organization says the past week has seen the highest increase of Ebola cases since the outbreak began, more evidence that the crisis is worsening.
    Liberia says it will open up a slum in its capital where thousands of people were barricaded to contain the spread of Ebola.
  • Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

    Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

    College students from West Africa can expect extra health screenings when they arrive to study in the United States. They're part of plans administrators have made as they try to insulate campuses from the...
    College students from West Africa can expect extra health screenings when they arrive to study in the United States. They're part of plans administrators have made as they try to insulate campuses from the worst Ebola...
  • VIDEO: News 3, Kissin' take Ice bucket challenge for Greenville coach

    VIDEO: News 3, Kissin' take Ice bucket challenge for Greenville coach

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-08-28 14:21:27 GMT

    WRBL News 3 and Kissin' 99.3 ice bucket  challenge raised $600 for ALS research in the name of former Greenville High Coach Jeremy Williams.

    WRBL News 3 and Kissin' 99.3 ice bucket  challenge raised $600 for ALS research in the name of former Greenville High Coach Jeremy Williams.

Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.