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Synthetic Drug Spurs State of Emergency in N.H.

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WebMD News from HealthDay

Aug. 18, 2014 -- New Hampshire has declared a state of emergency after 44 overdoses linked to a synthetic marijuana-like product sold in convenience stores as potpourri.

Nearly all of the overdoses that occurred in people who smoked or ingested a product called "Smacked" occurred in the Manchester area. None of overdose patients died, NBC News reported.

Under the state of emergency, public health authorities have the power to investigate stores and quarantine the product. So far, police have found Smacked in three convenience stores, which had their business licenses revoked.

Smacked is a potpourri-like substance sprayed with artificial substances similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, officials said.

In 2012, the federal government introduced a ban on compounds found in synthetic marijuana products and bath salts, and New Hampshire and most other states implemented similar bans. However, the laws are difficult to enforce because makers can make slight alterations to the chemical make-up of their products, NBC News reported.

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