Friday, July 27, 2012

Operation Log Jam: 91 Arrested in National Crackdown on Synthetic Drugs

Bath Salts have received national attention over the past few months following the “Miami Cannibal” attack, where the perpetrator was suspected to be on bath salts. Although toxicology reports showed only marijuana in his system, the assumption he was on bath salts turned out to be a great motivator for authorities in their quest to crackdown on synthetic drugs.

By July 9th 
President Obama signed a bill that banned the sale, production and possession of most chemicals used for making synthetic drugs, just over a month after the incident. Then this week there was the first-ever nationwide raid on synthetic drug manufacturers in the US, known as Operation Log Jam. Authorities reported that the crackdown resulted in the confiscation of 4.8 million packs of synthetic marijuana and materials to make 13.6 million more, 167,000 packets bath salts and materials to make 392,000 more, $36 million in cash, $6 million in assets, 53 weapons and more than 90 arrests.

According to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, Operation Log Jam took place in 90 cities and was a joint effort between the DEA and federal and local agencies. The impressive coordination and success of this operation was necessary, as Leonhart stated "The web of connections between the suppliers and the distributors and the retailers is enormous and it's complex.”

Other agencies involved in the crackdown included the IRS – following the money trail between the large and small-scale operations and The Department of Homeland Security. The director of ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations, James Chaparro said "The more we can keep it out of the country, the more we can protect public safety.”

These efforts will particularly impact young adults and teens who dominate the demographic of those who use synthetic drugs. The drugs have been responsible for various deaths, suicides and violent attacks across the country. Leonhart stated that scale of the synthetic drug problem is up there with prescription drug abuse, and that "So little is known about these substances, because of the dangers, you've seen the headlines, people who have committed murders, suicide, those calls to poison control." The hope is that the recent bans and raids will put a dent in these types of incidents and particularly synthetic drug use among young adults and teens.

If you or a loved one struggles with synthetic drug abuse, there are treatment facilities that can help you on your way to recovery.

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