- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
EU agency: number of synthetic drugs keeps rising
Question of the Day
LISBON, PORTUGAL (AP) - European Union authorities identified a record number of new synthetic substances known as "legal highs" last year, most of them manufactured in China and India and then sold over the Internet, the EU drug agency said Thursday.
The agency said in its annual report it detected 49 new psychoactive substances on the market in 2011 _ up from 41 in 2010 and a record for the third straight year.
The term "legal high" refers to substances that reproduce the effects of illegal drugs. They are sold under various product labels, including "research chemicals," "bath salts" and "plant food," and cover a wide range of synthetic and plant-derived substances, the agency said.
The number of online stores selling Europe's 10 most popular "legal highs" rose to 759 last year. That was just over double the number the previous year, the Lisbon, Portugal-based institution said.
Cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines remain the most-used stimulants on the continent but they face growing competition from synthetic alternatives.
Investigations by European law enforcement agencies have concluded most of the substances are synthesized in China and, to a lesser extent, India. The agency said "opportunistic entrepreneurs" are behind the Internet sales.
"These drugs appear to have the potential for more widespread diffusion," the report said.
The lengthy process of drafting new laws has placed authorities at a disadvantage in the fight against the synthetic substances.
"The speed with which these new substances are launched, combined with a lack of information on the risks associated with their use, challenges the established procedure of adding individual substances to the list of those controlled by drug laws," the report said.
Some EU countries, such as Austria, Ireland and Romania, have responded by enacting new laws that penalize the unauthorized distribution of psychoactive substances, the agency said.
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Calif. dolls were meant to spread cheer, not chill
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq