Governments Can’t Keep Up With New Drugs

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 07:  This photo illustration shows a collection of synthetic cannabis products that were available from Treasure Box in Onehunga, Auckland on May 7, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The New Zealand Parliament has outlawed synthetic cannabis  or "legal high" drugs from midnight on Wednesday 7th May, making it illegal to sell, supply or possess psychoactive substances including synthetic cannabis.  (Photo by Jason Oxenham/Getty Images)

    Jason Oxenham/Getty

    The world has experienced an “unprecedented” surge in new synthetic drugs, which has resulted in substances flooding the market before governments can identify and outlaw them. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report released Tuesday, 348 synthetic drugs were created between 2008 and 2013, with 97 of them produced in 2013 alone. Synthetic cannabinoids made up 28 percent of the new drugs, followed by synthetic cathinones, like the infamous “bath salts,” at 25 percent. These drugs aren’t technically illegal under international conventions, but still may pose health risks. While these drugs may slip under the radar, the report notes that methamphetamines certainly have not. Global seizures of the substance hit a record high.

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