Synthetic drugs emerge as Twin Cities drug trend

Synthetic pot
This Feb. 15, 2010, photo shows a package of K2 which contains herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

A new report finds rising abuse of synthetic drugs is the latest drug trend in the Twin Cities.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services issued the report Thursday. The report says substances sold online and in head shops may be marketed as incense, bath salts or research chemicals, but are actually designed to mimic the effects of illegal party drugs.

Carol Falkowski, who authored the report, says while the number of users of synthetic drugs is difficult to measure, the numbers appear to be growing.

The report also finds the abuse of heroin and prescription drugs in Minneapolis and St. Paul remained at heightened levels in 2010, although there may be signs of a slowdown. Signs of cocaine abuse continued to decline last year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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