Synthetic cannabinoids discovered in Barbados

Barbadians have been put on alert for new dangerous and potentially deadly narcotic substances recently discovered on island.

The alert was issued yesterday by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA)  through its Early Warning System, after tests carried out on “an unknown substance” submitted to the Forensic Sciences Centre for analysis, confirmed the presence of the synthetic cannabinoids MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4f MDMB-Butica.

Synthetic Cannabinoids are man-made, mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material, so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporised and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices.

Speaking at a press conference at the Eastern Caribbean Project Soft Bible Camp at Ruby, St Philip, Minister of Home Affairs and Information Wilfred Abrahams said the discovery of synthetic cannabinoids in Barbados was “cause for serious concern”.

He revealed the substances had first been identified in one country in May, 2020 and that country recorded 11 deaths three months later.

“This speaks to not only the toxicity, but the speed with which this drug impacts individuals,” Abrahams said, adding: “I want to underscore that these synthetic cannabinoids have no accepted medical use in treatment…In addition, there is a real danger to persons using this substance as this presents further challenges for the appropriate medical intervention,” Abrahams added.

Sharing the report on the lab findings with the media, director of the Forensics Sciences Centre, Cheryl Corbin explained the chemicals were called cannabinoids because they were similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant. (GC)

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