Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies want to warn people–specifically parents–about the increase of synthetic drug use, including some in the form of an altered popular candy.
"Synthetic drugs are created using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients," according to Undersheriff Rick Robbins of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. "Most synthetic drugs are created to mimic illegal drugs but are not controlled substances. This results in most synthetic drugs being just as addictive and/or dangerous, but legal."
The sheriff's office seized an unknown liquid in October that allegedly had the street name of "liquid Xanax." It was analyzed by the Illinois State Police laboratory and was found to be "Flubromazolam," a chemical similar to the family of benzodiazepine controlled substances. Flubromazolam, however, is not a controlled substance in Illinois which makes the drug legal to possess at this time.
According to Montgomery County Coroner Randy Leetham, Flubromazolam was found at the scene of an overdose death along with other controlled substances. The cause of death was a combination of the illicit drugs.
The drug comes with many cautions with its use if manufactured properly.
"The uncertainty also comes from who is producing the synthetic drugs," Robbins said. "The drugs are not produced in a pharmaceutical lab like prescription medication from your doctor. The drugs are mainly produced in other countries by unregulated people or companies for financial gain. These people or companies may have not been certified to produce the drugs or even have the experience to make the harmful drugs. The bottom line is no one purchasing or utilizing these types of drugs really understands what is in the drug."
The Hillsboro Police Department seized candies and sugar cubes that had been altered with a liquid drug that was being sold. Within two weeks of HPD's seizure of the unknown substance the sheriff's office also seized an unknown liquid mixed with red food coloring that had been applied to sugar cubes. Lab results determined that both unknown substances were an illicit drug. Etizolam, is similar to Flubromazolam in the class of benzodiazepines with no accepted medical use in the United States.
Law enforcement also has information that one Montgomery County resident was taken to a local emergency room due to hallucinations and a high temperature after eating an altered candy that had been purchased for the purpose of getting high.
"I encourage parents to speak to your children about the risks of using any type of drug, whether they are illegal or not, that is not prescribed by your doctor's office or an over-the-counter type of drug," Robbins said.
Those with further questions or more information on the drug or similar drugs should contact local law enforcement or Robbins at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.