DS View: Drugs

Common sense, even more so than illegality, should dictate the decision- making of potential drug users.

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Recent talk of a new synthetic drug on campus has started a conversation about drug use and common sense.

The Dakota Student editorial board in no way condones the use of illegal drugs.

That said, we believe individuals must be able to make their own choices when drugs and alcohol — along with general living — are involved.

The new drug being talked about at UND goes by many names — 25i, dime, 25C, NBOME or DOB, to name a few. What is more certain about the substance than its label is that it is synthetically made and is supposed to mimic the effects of LSD.

Like all “hip” synthetic drugs, 25i is extremely tricky to combat in the courthouse and in the hospital. Being made of a combination of chemicals and not, for example, harvested from plants, 25i is found is many different versions, all of which are have a slightly different chemical composition. This makes it difficult for lawmakers to outlaw the drug, because as soon as legislation goes through declaring a new drug illegal, drug makers start turning a chemically similar substance that isn’t covered by the legislation.

More unsettling is the fact that the ever-changing nature of many synthetic drugs makes it difficult for emergency medical services to know how to treat someone suffering from an overdose. Drugs that have been around for a long time have been studied; doctors have had time to experiment with treatments, so they know — for the most part — what works and what doesn’t. The newer a substance is, the less is known about it and the more dangerous it is.

It’s information such as this that illustrates the poor decision making skills of someone who uses synthetic drugs such as 25i or the notorious synthetic version of heroin commonly found in Russia referred to as “krokodil,” which is known for its flesh-eating properties.

The risky decision of using drugs is made riskier still when the substance involved is a mystery cocktail of chemical substances. To choose to get high in the most reckless way possible is to throw every ounce of common sense out the window.

After the synthetic drug related deaths of Grand Cities teenagers Christian Bjerk, 18, and Ellijah Stai, 17, in the summer of 2012, it’s disheartening to hear about cases of a new synthetic drug appearing on the streets on which we walk to class.

And while The Dakota Student cannot condone drug use, we find the use of synthetic drugs an even more serious mistake.

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