AAPCC Issues Statement on Passage of Synthetic Drug Amendment

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America's 57 Poison Centers Commend the U.S. Senate for Passing a Ban of Synthetic Drugs.

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Synthetic drugs have injured and killed too many people and destroyed too many lives.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the experts at America’s 57 poison centers are hailing the U.S. Senate for its recent passage of the synthetic drug amendment attached to the Food and Drug Administration user fee program reauthorization bill (Senate Bill 3187). AAPCC President Rick Dart, M.D., Ph.D., issued the following statement:

“America’s poison centers commend the U.S. Senate for passing a ban of synthetic drugs in Senate Bill 3187 and call on the U.S. House of Representatives to include the language in the final version of the bill.

“Poison center experts were the first to raise the alarm about synthetic marijuana in 2009 and bath salts in 2010, when they began receiving calls about people having serious, life-threatening reactions to the substances. In 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to about 3,200 calls related to synthetic marijuana and bath salts. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls.

“The AAPCC maintains the National Poison Data System (NPDS), a large database containing information about all poison exposure phone calls to every poison center across the country. NPDS data is a valuable tool for identifying and monitoring dangerous and new public health threats, including synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

“Poison center experts, who have first-hand knowledge of the devastation these drugs cause for individuals and their families, say these substances are among the worst they have ever seen. People high on these drugs have harmed themselves and others, and some have exhibited frightening psychosis.

“Synthetic drugs have injured and killed too many people and destroyed too many lives. A federal ban on these substances will go far in helping to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets and in safeguarding the health of people across the nation.”

For more information, the media may contact Loreeta Canton, AAPCC communications manager, at 703.894.1863, 701.391.0626 (cell phone) or canton (at) aapcc (dot) org or Brett Schuster, communications assistant, at 703.894.1859 or schuster (at) aapcc (dot) org.

The AAPCC supports the nation’s 57 poison centers in their efforts to treat and prevent drug, consumer product, animal, environmental and food poisoning. Members staff the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 that provides free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from toxicology specialists, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians and poison information providers. In addition, the AAPCC maintains the only poison information and surveillance database in the United States, providing real-time monitoring of unusual poisoning patterns, chemical exposures and other emerging public health hazards. The AAPCC partners with federal agencies such as EPA, HRSA and the CDC, as well as private industry.

To learn more, visit http://www.aapcc.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or read our blog at aapcc.wordpress.com. To join your voice with other poison center supporters, register for the AAPCC advocacy network at http://www.capwiz.com/aapcc – click on “Action E-List.”

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Loreeta Canton
AAPCC
703-894-1863
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