WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 20, 2012, 10:44 PM

UPDATE: Emergency Meeting held for recent deaths linked to Synthetic Drugs

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We've seen the controversy over synthetic drugs right here in the metro.

UPDATE: As a clarification on the story on the death of two teenager and the emergency meeting held in Grand Forks on Synthetic Drugs: Discontent is not involved with, nor tied to the synthetic drugs which killed the two teens.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We've seen the controversy over synthetic drugs right here in the metro. Ultimately, Minnesota banned synthetic marijuana or "fake pot". Now Grand Forks authorities have called an emergency meeting over the recent deaths linked to synthetic drugs to put an end to the problem.

Lt. Joel Vettel isn't surprised about the emergency meeting, since the problem with synthetic drugs are on the rise. It isn't only synthetic marijuana that is worrisome, but the new forms of synthetic hallucinogens.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “We are dealing with one unknown chemicals, and then you are mixing those and in kind of a cocktail, you’re certainly going to run into problems.”

Vettel says most people taking bath salts, K-2, or Spice have no idea what they are ingesting, so they don't know the dangers. This is thought to be what happened to Sty and Bjerk.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “Could be somebody in the back laboratory, with really just a chemistry set, and obviously they are not regulated, they are not certified in doing this mixtures often times.”

Vettel says out of the known cases nationwide, the people who have survived are those who seeked immediate medical attention, rather than waiting or hoping the effects of the drug would subside.

Dr. Curt Nyhus – Sanford Physician: “Some of the side effects of these things, often times are life threatening, they can cause abnormal rhythm, effect on blood pressure.”

Sanford Physician Curt Nyhus says the symptoms people are experiencing are some of those associated with other drugs, but what makes it hard to treat, is when people don't tell the truth or admit to what they have taken.

Dr. Curt Nyhus – Sanford Physician: “There is no regulation, I mean how they produce them, they are not made legally, they are altered, they are made in ways that you don't know the exact formulation.”

These types of drugs are also coming in the form of candy or paper that you lick, which can be deceiving to anyone. Both Vettel and Dr. Nyhus say if you are ever unfamiliar with something you have eaten and feel different, you too should go to the emergency room.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “It is a urgent situation in the aspect that these drugs are extremely lethal.”

The laws for the sale and use of these types of drugs differ from state to state, which makes investigations complicated. Officials are working to get federal laws in place to make sure punishment is the same anywhere you are.