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Community takes a stance against synthetic drugs

A group of concerned citizens attended the monthly A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition meeting this past week as representatives from the sheriff's department gave a presentation on synthetic drugs. Much of the country has been plagued with this growing epidemic.
As a result of the synthetic drug informational meeting, a committee of local residents has formed. The next meeting is scheduled for March 7 at 10:00 at the A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition office. If you would like to be part of the committee, please contact 727-0780 for more information.
Local high school students are preparing for a protest against the sale of synthetic drugs in the county. They are seeing the effects on their peers and are interested in helping to put a stop to the sale of these products. They are planning on meeting on Friday, March 2 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. across the street from Cloud 9 Emporium. Participants are encouraged to make signs. Informational packets from the A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition will be available.
First Christian Church has organized a prayer walk for Saturday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m. The group will meet at the old Mountain City Glove Plant across from Cloud 9 Emporium on 421. For more information, contact the church at 727-91952. Roan Creek Baptist Church has also coordinated a prayer vigil to be held on Sunday, March 4 at 1:00 p.m. in protest of the sale of harmful synthetic drugs in our community. They will also meet at the Mountain City Glove Plant. They can be reached at 727-7061.
Johnson County Narcotics Investigator, Starling McCloud, presented information at the meeting on the harmful effects of synthetic drugs, often packaged as bath salts, incense and potpourri. Users smoke, inject and snort these products, as well as using rectally to achieve a quicker high.
Bath salts are not to be confused with Epsom Salts and other bath products. Not all packaged incense and potpourri are synthetic drugs. Check for a list of ingredients to see if the following chemicals are on the label: JWH-015, JWH-018, JWH-019, JWH-073, JWH-200, JWH-309, HU-210, HU-211, CP-47 and CP-497. This is not a complete list of possible chemicals.
While these packages are clearly marked not for human consumption, it doesn't seem to deter people from using these products despite the devastating effects on their bodies. Some of the side effects include: breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, headaches, kidney and liver failure, nausea and stomach upset. Users can also show aggression, confusion and anxiety, leading to violent outbursts, paranoia and suicidal thoughts.
The United States Drug Enforcement placed a one-year ban in effect in October 2011 making it illegal to sell or possess any product that contains mephedrone, methylenedioxpyrovalerone and methylone. According to State Representative Scotty Campbell, Tennessee legislature is working on passing legislation that would encompass the realm of synthetic drugs, including changes in chemical composition that currently allow the products to remain legal. He is a cosponsor of legislation that would ban the sale and possession of both synthetic drugs and synthetic marijuana and give local law enforcement the ability to seize the drugs.
There are 17 bills dealing with synthetic drugs that are being considered under the House Health and Human Resources Subcommittee. They are scheduled to be heard on February 28 and February 29. Once the proposed bill(s) passes the subcommittee it proceeds to the House Health Committee. There are additional steps before the bill can be introduced for a vote by the full house. “I anticipate the ban to pass in March or April,” said Campbell.