Louisiana bans new designer drug compound, 'Blue Nugs'

Louisiana bans new designer drug compound, 'Blue Nugs'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - In the latest move of a constant cat-and-mouse game between government regulators and the creators of designer drugs, the state moves to ban a new synthetic drug compound called "5f-ADB."

State health officials say the drug, sold under the name "Blue Nugs" has been showing up more frequently in Louisiana and other states.

"Drug makers change the compounds in these drugs as soon as we ban them, so the versions sold in retail stores aren't necessarily safe and could potentially be banned in the future," said State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry in a news release from the Department of Health and Hospitals.

"New chemicals are constantly entering the market and we need to continue to add these dangerous synthetic marijuana compounds to our list of banned substances," according to Guidry.

The ban adds the specific chemical compound to the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Dangerous Substances.

The Department of Health and Hospitals describes it as very similar to a number of already banned substances. According to DHH, the banned substances have caused deaths and thousands of hospitalizations in recent years.

DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert signed the emergency rule Thursday after consultation with poison control experts and law enforcement.

"We're doing our best to keep them off the street, but parents should talk to their children about synthetic marijuana now," Secretary Kliebert said. "Synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous because consumers do not know what chemicals they are ingesting and the packaging is deceptive. We must educate ourselves and our children on the sometimes deadly effects."

Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Control Center says the compound in "Blue Nugs" has the potential for serious health risks including:

· Severe agitation, anxiety and paranoia;

· Fast, racing heartbeat and elevated blood pressure;

· Nausea and vomiting;

· Muscle spasms, seizures and tremors;

· Intense hallucinations and psychotic episodes; and

· Suicidal and other harmful thoughts and/or actions.

According to the DHH news release, Poison Control Centers have received over 17,000 calls related to synthetic cannabinoids since 2010.

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