Influx of overdoses due to synthetic drugs seen in Montana - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Influx of overdoses due to synthetic drugs seen in Montana

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Most parents have talked to their kids about the dangers of methamphetamine, heroin and other illegal drugs.

But there's a new threat being seen more and more in Montana - Designer synthetic drugs, which can be deadly.

K2 spice, a synthetic form of marijuana, is killing people across the country.

"2014, K2 spice in Texas killed 121 overdosed in one week alone,” said Jonathan, an undercover cop for the Missouri River Drug task force and the D.E.A.

He said they are seeing an influx of synthetic drugs like K2 spice in Montana.

"A synthetic is chemically made version of an illegal drug that was slightly altered to avoid having it classified illegal,” Jonathan said. "These synthetic drugs that are very scary. We're starting to respond more and more to medical calls where this is the substance or a substance that is causing an overdose.” 

The synthetic drugs are marketed to young people who often believe they are harmless.

"As you can see it's a very shiny package, labeled Scooby Snacks. It's sold as a potpourri and even says on the package not for human consumption," Jonathan said.

But these untested chemical blends are being consumed, "What we are finding is that it is 7-8 times stronger than the actual drugs they replicate." 

Another scary element of synthetic drugs is that they aren’t sold by a dealer in a dark alley. You can actually buy them online and purchase them very easily.

"What makes it so dangerous is you never know what you're getting.  I could buy one package and than buy the same package again later down the road and I don't know if the same chemicals would be in it,” said Jonathan.

Since 2009, 650 different chemicals were detected in synthetic drugs. Chemicals that can be lethal.

Many of the designer synthetic drugs are illegal, or become illegal as the D.E.A. identifies them.

But it’s a tough job as new synthetics drugs are constantly being introduced.

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