A prohibited chemical created to resemble a recognized hallucinogen or narcotic is a synthetic drug, often an imitation drug. The substance can be smoked, injected, swallowed, or snorted like the real thing. Imitation medicine sales, production, and distribution are all prohibited in Nevada.
The category has grown and may now encompass other drug classes like:
- Prescription medicines, including methadone and Oxycontin;
- Medications used to “date rape,” such as ketamine and others;
- Synthetic analogs of drugs derived from plants, such as synthetic Spice or marijuana;
- “Chemical cocktail” substances, including bath salts and blends of several street narcotics;
- Substances that imitate the effects of cocaine, LSD, and other drugs
Flakka is one of the more recent medications that may have various unintended consequences.
In recent years, the phrase “synthetic drug” has broadened from party-scene club drugs to cover more “designed” substances meant to imitate the effects of stimulants like methamphetamine and narcotics like LSD, cocaine, and marijuana. They all share the commonality of being created in a lab. Sometimes they are designed with legal uses in mind but are used illegally. Or, they might be created in secret facilities to supply the global black market for illicit drugs.
It’s not uncommon for synthetic narcotics to be sold legally under the names “potpourri,” “spices,” or “incense” on containers that have a homey appearance. Although they can be labeled “not meant for human consumption,” people use them for illegal activities.
Synthetic drug producers frequently alter the chemical makeup of illicit or banned substances to produce a drug that cannot be classified as a controlled substance under current drug laws. The compounds may also be labeled as “not for human consumption” to conceal their true use and escape Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of the production process.
Based on their chemical composition, synthetic pharmaceuticals can be separated into two groups:
- Cannabinoids are substances that operate similarly to THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. They go by names like “Spice” and “K2.”
- Artificial substances, like Bath Salts, that, for the most part, include chemical elements that resemble those found in cocaine, LSD, or methamphetamine. Their names include “Ecstasy” and “Molly,” among others.
One example of a synthetic drug is fentanyl. It is a man-made opioid (drugs that have effects similar to morphine, which is an opium derivative), But fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is produced legally and is recommended for treating pain. It is given to the skin with a patch as a prescription drug.
Fentanyl is used illegally as well, though, due to its potent narcotic effects. Some illicit producers mix it with heroin to boost its potency or pass it off as extraordinarily potent heroin. Users can think they are buying heroin when they are actually buying fentanyl, which is considerably stronger and more hazardous.
What Risks Come with Using Synthetic Drugs?
The market for synthetic drugs is challenging to regulate, and using synthetic drugs has been linked to several accidents and fatalities. The narcotics can be smoked, injected, snorted, or eaten, among other methods. Various negative physical and psychological side effects are conceivable, although the specific risks vary depending on the synthetic medicine that a person uses.
Often, it is impossible to determine what exactly is contained in a box of synthetic medications. One problem is that when someone uses synthetic medications, they have no idea what they are putting in their bodies or what effects it might have.
Additionally, there are no recommendations for dosages or how to deliver them. As a result, even a single use of a synthetic drug can have negative psychological effects like paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis, in addition to negative physical effects. A person may become addicted if the ingredients in synthetic medications are addictive.
The following are a few of the known negative impacts of synthetic medications on health:
- Cannabinoids: Cannabinoids can cause symptoms such as increased heart rate, tremors and seizures, agitation and anxiety, nausea and vomiting, racing heartbeat, hallucinations, dilated pupils, suicidal thoughts, and other negative behaviors;
- Stimulants: Users of stimulants may hurt themselves or others due to the effects of stimulants, which include increased heart rate and blood pressure, chest pain, acute paranoia, hallucinations, and violent conduct.
- MDMA: A dramatic drop in body temperature, severe dehydration, long-term learning difficulties, nausea, chills, sweating, teeth grinding and jaw clenching that isn’t voluntary, muscle cramps, blurred vision, high blood pressure, heart failure, and arrhythmia are just a few of the effects of MDMA.
Many users of synthetic drugs have self-harmed or even committed suicide while hallucinating. As a result, law enforcement agencies frequently take harsh measures against businesses and stores that distribute synthetic substances. More and more jurisdictions are outlawing different illicit and synthetic drugs.
What Exactly Does It Mean to Produce, Market, or Distribute Synthetic Drugs in Nevada?
A person is accused of manufacturing an illicit substance using a natural extract or chemical method when they are said to “manufacture a drug.” The packaging and rebranding of the counterfeit medication are also included in the production process.
A person is accused of trading something of value for a drug when they are suspected of selling it. Giving away a fake medicine so that others might sell it is referred to as distribution.
Are “Selling the Drug” and “Possession of a Synthetic Drug” Similar Crimes in Nevada?
No. Possession of a synthetic drug refers to either real or constructive substance possession, and they are not required to offer or give it to someone else.
Actual possession occurs when the substance is present on the user’s body.
Constructive possession is when someone has power over something even when it is not physically present on them. The substance may be hidden beneath a bush or in a bag, but the accused is still charged with possession.
Possession of an imitation drug is a serious misdemeanor in Nevada, which carries a $2,000 fine and a year in county jail.
What Is the Penalty in Nevada for Selling Counterfeit Drugs?
Selling a fake drug is against the law. Misdemeanors are punished as follows:
- A year in county jail
- $1,000 fine
- Both prison time and a fine
The following chemicals and other objects linked to drug use are punishable under the federal Controlled Substances Act and other relevant laws:
- Crack and cocaine
- The chemical ingredients utilized in the production of medications;
- Drug accessories;
- Drugs used to date rape;
- “Rave” drugs;
- Synthetic drugs;
- Drug trafficking
Aside from those listed in Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, there are other substances like opiates and narcotics.
In Nevada, is Selling Ever a Felony?
Yes. Selling to anyone under the age of 18 might result in a category C felony conviction for a person over the age of 18. They face a $10,000 fine and a maximum five-year jail term.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Aid Me?
Being suspected of being a drug dealer is challenging enough without worrying about spending time in jail. For assistance, speak with a drug lawyer in Nevada right away. Your attorney can provide the representation and guidance needed for your case.