RENO, NV - The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is warning about new synthetic street drugs that have hit the street. You've probably heard of “bath salts” and “spice” drugs made of compounds just recently outlawed in Nevada. Change those compounds, even slightly and they now become legal.
Criminalist Diane Machen rolls out samples of drugs tested here at Washoe County Sheriff's Forensic Science Division.
While the outside packaging looks innocent enough, inside are chemical substances smoked, snorted, ingested or mixed with drinks that produce hallucinogenic results.
The chemical compounds are illegal in Nevada, but manufacturers of these drugs simply alter the chemical slightly and the drugs become legal again.
“It is very hard to keep ahead of it, they will have the same or similar effects on the body as the ones that are currently regulated. If you control one compound all they have to do is make a slight modification to that compound, and now it is no longer the compound that is specifically listed as controlled,” says Machen.
So legal in fact the drugs can be mailed to your home.
Machen shows us examples of what they look like packaged with names like Carpet Deodorizer, and Blue Wave.
The drugs haven't just been found in Reno she says it's a worldwide problem.
Particularly since you don't know who is making the stuff and what it is made of.
“Even though you may think they are all right because they are not specifically controlled by law or regulation, that should not be the inference that is made.” says Machen.
Machen says nothing could be further from the truth in her words, using these substances is essentially the equivalent to Russian Roulette.