According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of calls to United States’ poison control centers regarding synthetic cannabis has doubled in the last year, and these numbers are on the rise.
The truth is, studies on the effects of these ‘designer drugs’ are insufficient, and no one really knows what the long-term consequences of use may be. Nevertheless, recent studies are available showing that there may be an association between synthetic cannabinoids and psychosis, as well as an association with myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and designer drugs. Our Chicago injury lawyers urge people not to use drugs, in particular these synthetic chemicals.
Designer drugs are chemical combinations that are created so as to avoid standing drug laws. They are usually manufactured using derivatives of common illegal substances, by modifying the underlying structure of the original formula, or by finding or creating new formulas that produce similar effects to the illegal recreational drugs. One particular type of these designer drugs is synthetic cannabis, which is a psychoactive derivative that emulates the subjective effects of cannabis.
As per a recent report by MSNBC, three people have recently been hospitalized with kidney failure, and a dozen more were sickened in an outbreak linked to a batch of the designer synthetic cannabis, Spice. Allegedly, the people sought medical treatment for vomiting and back pain, after having smoked or ingested a flavored variety of the designer drug packaged as “blueberry spice.” The victims of the adverse effects ranged in age from late teens to early 20s, reported MSNBC; coincidentally that age range is the product’s target consumer base.
This particular brand of designer drug, Spice, is sold as an “alternative” to marijuana because the effects of the chemical are said to mimic tetrahydracannibinol THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Because these designer drugs are relatively new, authorities have struggled to keep pace with changes in the chemical make-up of the designer drugs, which sometimes skirt newly enacted laws, reported MSNBC. Nevertheless, a number of states have bans on Spice because it is so potentially dangerous.
When corporations manufacture a product, they have the responsibility of ensuring its safety before the product is put on the market and sold to consumers. This is especially true for companies whose products have not yet undergone extensive testing before they are distributed to consumers. When a company makes a product that is defective or dangerous and that product harms the person using that product, the company may be held legally responsible for the customer’s injuries. This type of situation would give rise to an Illinois product liability lawsuit.
As it applies in this case, if it is found that the use of Spice or other types of designer drugs have caused kidney failure or other serious injuries to a consumer, the manufacturer of the drug may be liable for damages from the product’s hazardous effects. In Illinois wrongful death cases a victim’s family members and loved ones may sometimes recover for the loss of companionship and the loss of future wages caused by the early death.
If you or a loved on have used designer drugs and have suffered injury as a result of the negative side effects, talk to your doctor immediately, and contact an attorney to learn whether you are entitled to compensation under the law.