The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa designating this week as National Youth Synthetic Drug Awareness Week.
“Congress and law enforcement work to get synthetic drugs off the streets but cynical manufacturers work all the time to put out new varieties,” Grassley said. “Public awareness is a large part of prevention. A product sold in a store or online isn’t necessarily safe and might be far from it. These drugs have had tragic consequences in Iowa. People should know the consequences and stay away from these products.”
Grassley co-sponsored the resolution with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. These states, like Iowa, have had problems with synthetic drugs. Grassley, Klobuchar and other senators worked toward the enactment of the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, banning many iterations of synthetic drugs, including one associated with the death of an 18-year-old Iowan named David Rozga.
New versions of the drug emerge regularly, leaving the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ban the new compounds using its administrative authority. Included among these drugs is a compound called “5F-PB-22,” which was blamed for the deaths of three young Iowans last year. 5F-PB-22 is officially banned, or scheduled, under DEA procedures. The final rule went into effect earlier this month.
Grassley is Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-chairman of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control.