D.C. recently became one of the first cities in the nation to begin testing arrested subjects for synthetic drugs along with illegal substances. It’s an effort to both track the seemingly epidemic rise in usage and act as a deterrent to potential users.
The rise of synthetic drug use seems to be tied to marijuana laws, as former users of marijuana often turn to the synthetic cannabinoids in attempt to pass a drug test and avoid running afoul of the law. However, the synthetic market is completely unregulated, and the chemical compounds in the synthetic drugs currently being sold are constantly changing and unverifiable by consumers. These compounds often have devastatingly unintended psychological consequences. Officials are calling it akin to a public health crisis.
Ultimately, the city needs word to get out that use of synthetic drugs will not go undetected by D.C. drug tests, and thus it is not a viable alternative to other drugs for those seeking not to violate their parole terms or otherwise have their drug use detected by law enforcement. The hope is that this will effectively quash demand for synthetics and rid the city of the dangerous market.