Doctor testifies St. Luke's sees 5-10 synthetic drug patients a dayLegislative efforts to stem synthetic drug sales the past few years have not kept up with the industry, Duluth law enforcement and medical experts told a House committee Wednesday.
By: Don Davis, Forum News Service
Legislative efforts to stem synthetic drug sales the past few years have not kept up with the industry, Duluth law enforcement and medical experts told a House committee Wednesday.
“We easily have five to 10 patients a day,” St. Luke’s emergency room doctor Scott Wolff said.
He told of one patient who “got angry at his teeth and he pulled out his incisors.” When he came down from his high, the doctor said, the man was pleasant and “he wished he had his teeth.”
Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said he keeps track of the issue statewide, and “we are not aware of a successful prosecution” from new laws to make synthetic drugs illegal.
Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, said he is not ready to introduce a bill to deal with the subject, but “clearly, this is a big problem for my community. But this is a big problem for the entire state. ... We need to figure out what we can do.”
The issue is not new to lawmakers. In recent years, they have passed bills aimed at allowing state officials to respond quickly to the rapidly changing synthetic drug industry.
Makers of the new-form drugs frequently change their composition so the chemicals remain legal.
“The drugs are advertised as being safe and legal,” Wolff said. “It is obvious to my partners and I that they are not.”