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How Dangerous Are Those Weird Drugs You See at the Gas Station?

At one point or another, most people have asked themselves the uncomfortable question about whether or not the weird drugs next to the cash register at the gas station aren’t worth a couple of bucks for a funny story. After all, who wouldn’t want to stay awake for an entire day, replicate the effects of illicit drugs, or have the romantic appeal of Casanova? Well, you might want to think twice before popping one of these pills.

Sex Pills are Not FDA Approved, Yet Utilize Pharmaceuticals

While the appeal of any of these pills are, on paper, undeniable, the reality is quite different from the packaging. The data collected from a joint study conducted by the FDA, CDC, and Chenega Government Consulting and published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that between 2004 and 2013, up to 617 people visited the ER each year due to complication from over-the-counter sexual enhancement drugs. In that same time period, there were a dozen deaths reported. While not illegal, it would be premature to call gas station pharmaceuticals safe.

Synthetic Cannabis is Less Fun-Dangerous and more Plain-Dangerous

Similar to the pills that promise a night of passion and romance, the biggest draw of synthetic cannabis is invariably its marketing. Because it's unregulated by the FDA, the marketing teams behind these products are held to much less stringent standards of objective truth.

While they may promise a completely legal out of this world experience akin to any illicit drug, what the marketing doesn’t tell you is very real risk involved with unregulated medicine. In July 2016, over thirty people in Brooklyn overdosed in a single day on K2, a synthesized version of marijuana. With an unprecedented ease of access, it’s never been easier for the ill-informed to get their hands on a shady product promising a wild ride without adequately discussing the very real and very present dangers.

Market Saturation

One of the major problems with unregulated and dangerous drugs such as these is how readily available they are across the world. From countries across Asia and Russia to the U.K. and across the States, it is incredibly easy to find these colorful and tempting packets of miracle pills at any corner store. Coupled with the legal gray area in which they exist, it is probably a good idea to tend on the side of caution regarding pills you find on a spindly rack at 2 a.m. at a roadside liquor store.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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