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4 synthetics added to state ban

– New Indiana Board of Pharmacy rules ban four more types of compounds that are used in synthetic drugs such as spice and K2, the agency announced Thursday.

The rules were posted on Indiana Register on Wednesday and take effect in 30 days, the board said. The rules will remain in effect until next year, giving the General Assembly time to enact the rules into law.

A 2012 state law gives the board the power to ban such compounds until the General Assembly can reconvene. The law allows the Board of Pharmacy to pass emergency rules so law enforcement agencies can take timely action against the compounds.

“These harmful products can be lethal and are being marketed to and targeted at Indiana’s youth,” said Nicholas W. Rhoad, of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, which includes the pharmacy board. “We are collaborating with the authorities to quickly respond to these situations and make sure that these drugs aren’t available.”

Last month, four high school students were treated at Columbus Regional Hospital after becoming ill from smoking spice.

The pharmacy board says rogue chemists are constantly changing the chemical formulas of their synthetic drugs to skirt the law. The board said it works closely with the Indiana State Police to identify compounds used in synthetic drugs so it can act swiftly to ban them.

Spokesman Nick Goodwin says it’s the sixth time the Board of Pharmacy has banned synthetic drugs under the 2012 law.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, spice products are second only to marijuana in the use of illicit drugs by young people because of easy access, a misperception that the products are natural, and not being easily detected on drug tests.

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