CMPD raids Charlotte business, seized synthetic drugs - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMPD raids Charlotte business, seizes large amounts of synthetic drugs

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Synthetic drugs, banned in 39 states including North Carolina are still on the streets of Charlotte.

Charlotte Mecklenburg vice detectives say they seized a large amount of the drugs from a business in east Charlotte.

WBTV has learned police began investigating Queen City Smokes and Novelties on E. Independence Blvd. back in September.

This week, investigators returned to the store where they say they seized large amounts of synthetic drugs.

Among them: synthetic Marijuana including the ones that go by street names, "Kush" and "Spice," bath salts, including a particularly dangerous one with the street name "Blue" and something called "Glass Cleaner," a synthetic drug that people shoot up.

 Anna Dulaney is a toxicologist with Carolinas Poison Center and says the danger of the drugs is real.

"We just don't know enough about these products," she said.

She adds the problem with these synthetic drugs is users think the high is the same as marijuana but the side effects are far more dangerous.

"They're heart rate can go up," said Dulaney. "They can get very agitated, they get very anxious. They've had hallucinations."

While she says the number of calls they get about the drugs has dropped, they're still seeing them.

In 2011, the center received 249 calls. Last year in 2012, 101 call were logged about the drugs and so far this year, 24 calls.

It's why she says parents have to be able to recognize the telltale signs.

"New friends, changes in grades," she said listing the red flags. "Changes in behavior, changes in social activity."

Not only that, she says parents need to be downright nosy.

"If they have access to money, what are they spending their money on," she queried. "What websites are they going to? There are websites where they can purchase these products. What are they doing with their time. Are they behaving erratically?"

If you have questions or think someone you know may be using synthetic drugs, contact the Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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