There is a growing trend toward mixing chemicals to create designer drugs that weren’t available in the past and we anticipate that trend continuing. The effects when new drugs are tried on a person, short or long term, are not known. One drug that has been around for quite some time is ecstasy. We have learned over time that ecstasy used regularly and in significant quantities can cause significant damage to the brain. The damage prevents a person from having the increased serotonin levels that accompany happiness. They are no longer able to have those without the aid of ecstasy. The long term effects of these designer drugs are something we can’t yet see.
The other thing that we see happening is an increased usage of oxycodone by high school students and other young adults that essentially consists of grinding the time-release pills to receive a high comparable to that of heroin. As a person builds a tolerance to these prescription drugs, the amount they need to take rises considerably. What we’re seeing is that a huge number of people addicted to oxycodone are switching to heroin because it is much cheaper than oxycodone pills. As a result, the demand for heroin is skyrocketing and we are expecting to see a large increase in heroin cases over the next 5-10 years.