Doctor claims synthetic drugs can be harsher than some illegal ones

Hundreds of synthetic drugs are created every year, they are the imitation of real drugs.

Two of the challenges these drugs bring are that they are legal and there is no test to detect if the drug is in a person's system.

K2, Spice and synthetic marijuana are the most popular one's.

"Drugs that are being most commonly copied would be methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana," Dr. Washington said.

Dr. Kevin Washington specializes in medical toxicology in Kaiser Foundation Hospital at Los Angeles and he is in the Valley right now teaching health professionals how to detect these undetectable drugs.

"The biggest thing is to be aware that they are out there and to understand what they are," Dr. Washington said. "So if you have a child or a patient who you think might be using drugs and you do a drug test and its negative, it doesn't mean they are not."

Dr. Washington tells Action 4 that synthetic drugs cause the same effects and symptoms as the real drug.

He says that those symptoms are the only way doctors can tell if a person is under the influence of these drugs.

According to the Federal Drug Administration, these drugs are commonly sold in form of white powder, bath salts and jewelry cleaner.

Manufacturers label them "not for human consumption" to hide their purpose and avoid the FDA.

These drugs are sold at gas stations, smoke shops and the internet.

"The most common place especially in Texas will be over the internet because Texas has been very proactive in banning a lot of them at state level," Dr. Washington said.

Currently 44 states have taken action to control this growing issue by making some synthetic drugs illegal.

The problem is when one synthetic drug is deemed illegal a new one is created.

Dr. Washington tells Action 4 synthetic drugs can be more harmful than real drugs.

He says that some signs parents should be aware of are hyperactivity, sleeping in, cutting classes and acting different.