Michigan Begins Process to Make New Synthetic Drug IllegalContact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 12, 2012
LANSING - Today, Dec. 12, the Michigan Board of Pharmacy has begun the process of the emergency scheduling of a class of synthetic drugs called Phenethylamine. On Dec. 3, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Director James K. Haveman issued an imminent danger notification to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to begin the process of making this class of chemicals illegal in Michigan.
"Today, the Michigan Board of Pharmacy acting with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs initiated the emergency rule making process which will make a new class of synthetic drugs identified as Phenethylamine drugs illegal in Michigan by classifying them as Schedule 1 controlled substances," said LARA Acting Director Steve Arwood. "This decision was primarily based on an imminent danger notification from the Department of Community Health acting on recommendations from Michigan State Police (MSP), local health officers and law enforcement agencies."
Since June 2012, information across the state regarding Phenethylamine drugs has been collected and sent to the MDCH by the Michigan Poison Control Center (MPCC), MSP, local health officers and law enforcement agencies. The frequency of individuals presenting to emergency departments throughout Michigan is steadily increasing. Working together with MDCH and LARA, this is the first time that the emergency scheduling process of synthetic drugs has been utilized since the law passed in June 2012.
The scheduling of Phenethylamine drugs and a variety of amphetamine-like stimulants will not immediately take effect but requesting an emergency scheduling is the first step in the process. Michigan has seen 19 cases across the state that have resulted in emergency department treatment and while there have been no fatalities in Michigan, there have been five nationwide. Information regarding this new drug indicates that it's coming in from overseas and being distributed within the state.
"With this class of synthetic drugs in Michigan, the state is doing all that it can to ban these substances as soon as possible," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "Because these drugs are being sold under a wide variety of names and packaging forms, parents are highly encouraged to talk to their children and call the Michigan Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 about any concerns they may have."
There are instances of non-compliance where users have been physically combative with law enforcement and EMS personnel. Information has shown that use of these chemicals has resulted in severe physiological and psychological effects on users throughout the state. Users have experienced hallucinations, disorientation, renal failure, seizures, tachycardia, hypovolemic shock, acute respiratory failure, central nervous system (CNS) depression, acute leukocytosis and rhabdomyolysis.
Due to the number of compounds currently known to have been manufactured and the ease of attaining new compounds, MDCH has asked the Board of Pharmacy to ban the chemical class of Phenethylamines to protect the health and lives of Michigan residents. The imminent danger notification by MDCH allows the Michigan Board of Pharmacy to create an emergency rule to schedule this class of chemicals as a controlled substance, effectively making them illegal in Michigan.
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