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The Journal of Medical Toxicology, the official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, focuses on Emerging Drugs of Abuse in its March issue, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

The Journal of Medical Toxicology(JMT), the official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), starts its eighth year in print with an issue dedicated to new street drugs producing serious effects, even death.

"It is now estimated that 100 persons die of drug overdose daily in the US, a threefold increase in overdose deaths in less than 20 years," states an editorial by Mark Mycyk, M.D., the associate editor of JMT.

Synthetic marijuana products (e.g., Spice, K2) and bath salts (e.g., ivory wave) contain new street drugs that can cause severe toxicity in users. Labeling bath salts as "not for human consumption," allows the sale of illicit amphetamine-like cathionine substances. Synthetic cannabinoids are sprayed on plant products and marketed as synthetic marijuana. Fatal cases from bath salts in a 40 year old male and a 24 year old female are reported, in addition to severe effects related to marijuana use. Other drugs of abuse are reviewed, including Kratom and Salvia.

"As soon as street drugs are outlawed, abusers come up with new formulations to attempt to achieve a legal high. As medical toxicologists, we are on the front line and see what new adverse effects these drugs cause. Unfortunately, many users don't realize how dangerous these chemicals are until people start getting sick or dying," said Editor-in-Chief, Leslie R. Dye, M.D.

The March issue of JMT also highlights a new study (the iHeal Project) in which skin sensors are used to help recovering addicts identify the onset of cravings and to provide early relapse prevention.

ACMT is a professional, nonprofit association of physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. The College is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of medical toxicology through a variety of activities.