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DEA Warns of New Street Drugs

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Just when you wrapped your brain around bath salts, the Drug Enforcement Administration is warning parents and schools about three new synthetic drugs:

1) "Smiles" is a hallucinogen whose effects are not immediately felt, increasing the risk of overdose. It can be taken as small tables, on blotter paper, or in powder form, often mixed with something else--chocolate, for instance. Side effects include loss of control, panic, heart palpitations and memory loss. 

2) "Wet" can refer to a marijuana cigarette dipped in liquid PCP, or to the PCP itself. Side effects include hostile behavior, feelings of detachment from reality, and distorted body perception. According to a report by Fox News, a man accused of murdering a 6-year-old boy was high on marijuana and PCP. 

3) "Weed candy" is just what it sounds like--ordinary candy that's laced with marijuana, and oftentimes other dangerous ingredients. Weed candy can be a gateway to even deadlier drugs.

On Wednesday, Novus Medical Detox Center in New Port Richey issued a statement warning against the dangers of these drugs, and noting that there is no medical detox protocol for hallucinogens.

“These street drugs are synthetic and highly dangerous preparations that lead to the use of addictive drugs, which may require professional medical detox,” Novus executive director Kent Runyon said in a written statement. “We can’t stop the drugs from being made, but we can help people who have fallen victim to them and help get their lives back safely and quickly. ... We can also educate for prevention, which is the biggest deterrent there is."

How can parents and schools stay ahead of new drug trends? Discuss your ideas on Health News Florida's Facebook page.

Dalia Colón is excited to return to WUSF as producer of the Zest podcast. From 2010 to 2014, Dalia covered health and features for WUSF. Before that, she was a staff reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and Cleveland Magazine.