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I-Science: NIDA's Look into the Risks of Designer Drugs

NIDA's I-Science videos give viewers a glimpse of scientists through the "eyes", and hand held lens of NIDA specialists. This interview gives a personal perspective of Harvard Medical School's, Dr. Bertha Madras on the "Risks of Synthetic Designer Drugs." She is interviewed by NIDA's Dr. Jack Stein.

Transcript

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Bertha Madras: Synthetic designer drugs are basically human experiments without informed consent. Every drug that we take that is prescribed by a physician has gone through the most rigorous testing: First in animals, first in the test tubes and then in humans. And in humans it is done so carefully-you measure the doses, you first find out if there’s any dose that become toxic. Then you go into trails with people who are sick to see if it helps them. In the case of designer drugs none of these precautions have been taken, none of the care has been taken. Chemists can make anything, anywhere in the world. Some can be poisonous, downright toxic, some can promote addiction, some can destroy brain cells-you don’t know. You are simply walking into a cave without a flashlight, and you are hopping there aren’t bears, or scorpions, or rabid bats, or chasms, or crevices that you can fall into. That is why I call it a human experiment without any knowledge on what these drugs can promote in your brain and to the rest of your body.

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This page was last updated August 2013