Bath salts, legal highs, herbal highs, La Flaca, K2 and Spice are types of drugs designed to make people fly on a dangerous, possibly one-way journey.
These new psychoactive substances are increasingly popular, but hardly controlled.
Freddy Arias, associate professor of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Costa Rica and Chairman of the XII Regional Congress of forensic toxicology said that
many of these substances have been known for many years, but their trade and use have increased recently. These substances are not controlled under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, or the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971. Therefore, they are not considered illegal in most countries and in Costa Rica, they are not controlled by the Ministry of health.”
These drugs are associated with health problems such as psychotic states and unpredictable behaviors. Arias explains their effects are increased body temperature, heart rate, hallucinations, vomiting, and aggression. The person may fall into a coma, compromise internal organs and even attempt suicide.
It is necessary to ensure continuous monitoring of the drugs to which the population is exposed, in order to control them and allow those responsible for the medical care to know the clinical approach they must follow,”
said the expert.
Anesthetics in disused for humans that are now used in animals, such as ketamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, synthetic cannabinoids varieties such as K2 and Spice; cathinones as those called “bath salts” or “La Flaca”, are some of the design of drugs circulating in the country.
Some of these make people become more sensitive, more assertive, more loving and this can expose young people to sexual abuse or rape,”
said Guillermo Araya, director of the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs (ICD), who recognizes two situations that complicate the fight against this dangerous and illicit market.
The first is the increase in the types of substances in the streets and Costa Rican neighborhoods, and the second is the need for more training, expertise and resources for the police to identify the drugs.
In the congress, international experts will analyze the situation in regions such as Asia and the challenges forensic laboratories must face for analysis and postmortem studies of these substances.
The event, which will be held from November 10th to 12th, brings together experts from all over Latin America and exhibitors from Germany, Korea, Spain, Belgium, France and the United States, among others.