BOISE – A new drug is causing more and more problems not only in Idaho, but across the nation.
"As far as we can tell these are very toxic substances and they are not something people should be messing with," said David Sincerbeaux with Idaho State Police.
That's why the DEA has added three new synthetic drugs 25-I, 25-B and 25-C to the controlled substance list.
This drug is so new to Idaho that law enforcement in the Treasure Valley first told us about it a few weeks ago.
Statewide, ISP says there are only 10 to 15 cases where people are abusing this drug, and most of those are in northern Idaho, but the trend is moving towards southern Idaho and that has agencies here working to educate people about these drugs.
"There's been reported deaths and I think that's why the DEA has been jumping all over it," said Sincerbeaux.
These synthetic drugs, coming from China, are slowly making their way to Idaho.
David Sincerbeaux, the technical leader for controlled substances with Idaho State Police, says the derivative of 25-I, 25-B and 25-C has been around for nearly 40 years but was not in the general public. Now people are using these variations as the latest drug.
"They have not ever been tested on humans, so no one really knows what they may or may not do. So when someone buys this and is using it, they are basically being guinea pigs," said Sincerbeaux.
The drugs are similar to LSD in that they are powerful hallucinogens and are highly toxic.
Nationwide, there have been several deaths and even more overdoses. In Idaho, one death could be linked, but it can’t be confirmed.
Mark Johnston with the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy, the controlled substance authority in the state, says very small amounts of these drugs can cause serious problems.
"For the DEA to take emergency action to action and schedule as illicit drug in Schedule 1, I would say quite dangerous," said Johnston.
The DEA's ruling is only temporary, lasting two years.
It was a move that was quick that gave law enforcement agencies the ability to prosecute those who use it and are in possession of it.
It's just the first move to bring awareness and education to these drugs that are mainly bought over the Internet.
"There are a lot of people nationwide that are working to try to figure out the best formula for getting in front of this issue," said Elisha Figueroa with the Idaho Office of Drug Policy.
While the DEA made these drugs Schedule 1 controlled substances, Idaho has a law on the books that says it doesn't become state law for 30 days after the DEA's ruling.
That law allows the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy to decide if there is any medical benefit to any given drug, giving the state the ability to decide for itself.
In this case, the state has no plans to stop this from becoming law in Idaho. That will happen on December 15. At that point these drugs will be illegal on a state and federal level.
The Idaho State Board of Pharmacy plans to take more actions against the newly banned drugs to prevent copy cat drugs in the future. The plan is to create a law in the upcoming Legislature.
"While the DEA has scheduled these three items, we're going to move to create more broad language to try to head off the following potential designer drugs that show up in this category," said Johnston.
The State Board of Pharmacy made a similar move with bath salts and spice - creating broader language than what the DEA did, making future variations of the drugs also illegal.