Gov. Bobby Jindal and officials with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), and Louisiana State Police (LSP) announced the ban of a new synthetic marijuana compound called "5f-ADB" this week. The designer drug, sold under the name Blue Nugs, is being detected more frequently in Louisiana and has been identified in other states across the nation.
The ban adds the full chemical compound methyl 2-(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3,3- dimethylbutanoate to the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Dangerous Substances. This substance has been increasingly present in the state and is very similar to those substances already banned. This group of substances has caused deaths and thousands of hospitalizations across the country in recent years.
LDH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert signed the Emergency Rule Thursday after consultation with the Louisiana Poison Control Center, State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana State Police and East Baton Rouge parish law enforcement officials.
"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."
The effort to add new compounds to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances is done through a partnership of LDH, LSP, the Louisiana Poison Control Center, local hospitals, crime labs and parish coroners' offices.
For a copy of the emergency rule, click here.
"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," Dr. Guidry said. "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."
"5F ADB is another in a long list of synthetic cannabinoids causing dangerous adverse effects in users. Banning this drug is important to protect public health," said Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Control Center.
5f-ADB is dangerous and addictive, with 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.
"This drug, and others like it, is poison," said Dr. William "Beau" Clark, coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish. "They may call it synthetic or marijuana, but it is not - it is poison. The effects on humans are devastating and potentially deadly."
This drug is untested, has no known medicinal value and as such there is no accepted dose. The pharmacology and toxicity of this substance is mostly unknown. Poison Control Centers have received over 17,000 calls related to synthetic cannabinoids since 2010.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's Twitter account and Facebook.