Health Plus: Dangers of synthetic drugs in eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Dangers of synthetic drugs in eastern Iowa

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Bath salts, Spice, K2--names you may have heard to describe synthetic drugs that are being used in eastern Iowa.

In Health Plus what you need to know about the risks of taking them.

In Covenant Medical Center's emergency room, doctors see patients come in with a variety of health problems including unexpected reactions to street drugs.

"It's on the rise, definitely. We're seeing a lot more overdoses from these drugs--these synthetic drugs," said Dr. Hameed Khan, ER doctor at Covenant in Waterloo. 

Whatever you call them, bath salts, Spice, K2, these synthetic drugs are being sold cheaply and are being used by eastern Iowans young and old.

"We're doing what we can when we get the information. That's why it's important if somebody is aware that K2 is being sold some place or bath salts, they need to let us know they need to call the police," said Sgt. Robert Greenlee, a public resource officer with the Waterloo Police Department.

The drugs are reportedly made by illegal street chemists and can result in some scary side effects when taken.

"They're toxic to the body, can cause seizures, arrythmias, fast heart rates, elevated blood pressure. A lot of psychiatric problems and some of those problems that we're finding out they can be permanent in nature after they come off of it as well," said Dr. Khan.

Gas stations and convenience stores in our state have been targeted for selling these drugs, despite the risks to customers who take them.

"They're paranoid, delusional. They're hyper. They can be violent. We definitely want to make sure the public is safe when it comes to people under the influence of these substances," said Sgt. Greenlee.

Doctors say if you suspect someone is having a bad reaction to these type of drugs, get them in for treatment immediately.

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