The newest illegal drugs are boosting business for emergency rooms in Iowa. An Iowa emergency-room doctor says more people are coming in with health problems from the newest varieties of illegal drugs. Dr. Greg Madison says the boom in methamphetamine labs is reflected in the increasing number of users who seek help.He says few studies have been done on meth, but the chemicals in it are all toxic. An emergency-room physician at Broadlawns hospital in Des Moines, Dr. Madison says doctors also see people who’ve overdosed on “designer drugs” like G-H-B or Ecstasy, though it’s hard to say how many.It’s most likely to be drug-altered behavior that leads police to bring them to the hospital, but there aren’t tests for those drugs. Dr. Madison says another problem with “designer drugs” cooked up in laboratories is that not all-bad street drugs are against the law.A drug must be described clearly in the law, and if a lab adds a bit of one chemical or another, what they’ve made isn’t technically in the anti-drug law now on the books. Dr. Madison points out anyone taking such “designer drugs” will be a lab rat for the experimental formulas. The E-R doctor says psychiatric and behavioral problems often result from heavy or long-term use of meth and other newly popular street drugs.
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