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Michigan Begins Process To Make New Designer Drug Illegal

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LANSING (WWJ) – A chemical used to make a new class of designer drugs is on its way to becoming illegal in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) earlier this week issued an “imminent danger notification” to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy reguarding the chemical phenethylamine — often used in a liquid form that’s more commonly referred to as N-BOM, pandora or vortex.

Steve Arwood, Acting Director of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, said they initiated the emergency rule making process to classify drugs containing phenethylamine as Schedule 1 controlled substances in the state, making them illegal.

The MDCH — which has been collecting information on phenethylamine drugs from the state Poison Control Center, local health officers and law enforcement agencies — said 19 people in the state have been admitted to emergency rooms since June 2012 after taking drugs containing phenethylamine.

The department said there hasn’t been any fatalities in Michigan related to phenethylamine, although there have been five deaths reported nationwide.

The MDCH said use of phenethylamine has resulted in severe physiological and psychological effects, including hallucinations, disorientation, renal failure, seizures, tachycardia, hypovolemic shock, acute respiratory failure, central nervous system depression, acute leukocytosis and rhabdomyolysis.

The scheduling of Phenethylamine drugs and a variety of amphetamine-like stimulants will not immediately take effect, but requesting an emergency scheduling is the first step in the process.

“With this class of synthetic drugs in Michigan, the state is doing all that it can to ban these substances as soon as possible,” James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH, said in a release. “Because these drugs are being sold under a wide variety of names and packaging forms, parents are highly encouraged to talk to their children … about any concerns they may have.”

For more information, call the Michigan Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or visit www.michigan.gov/mdch.

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