RescueDigest Resources: Designer Drugs

Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana: New and Deadly Drugs
Emergency Services in North American and Europe are confronted with a surge in new designer drugs with so-called “Bath-Salts” and “Spice” or synthetic marijuana are at the top of the list.

As law enforcement and regulators work to stem the marketing of current products and the development of new ones, Police, Fire and EMS responders are finding themselves at risk as they try to protect the public and abusers themselves from these terrifying chemicals.

RescueDigest Editorial Director Rom Duckworth wrote the article for FireEngineering Magazine on Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana: An Emerging Threat which includes discussion on Excited Delirium as a potential fatal side effect of these and other designer drugs.

Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana is also the topic of Fire Engineering’s Podcast Firemedically Speaking Episode #301 Aired Live on Friday, July 6th at 7:30 pm EDT.

Lieutenant Rom Duckworth, EMS Coordinator for the Ridgefield Fire Department (CT), talks with FireEMS editor Mike McEvoy about challenges of responding to these new and ever changing overdoses.

More information and Resources on Bath Salts:

Synthetic Marijuana:

Emerging Drug Trends

Excited Delirium

Designer Drugs / Excited Delirium Protocols:
Editor’s Note: The Excited Delirium portions of these protocols are the sections that deal with the most significant and critical effects of Designer Drug emergencies. These sections are listed in a variety of manners including “Restraint”, “Behavior Emergencies”, and “Sedation”, but can all be identified with a quick search within the document for “Excited”. Please note that RescueDigest strives to provide resources for providers in different types of systems experiencing different challenges in different parts of the country. As such, you will find protocols from a number of metro, urban, rural and frontier systems below. Please also note that while the majority of these protocols rely on sedation and medication, patient management can only be accomplished safely and effectively through collaborative care efforts of ALS and BLS EMS providers along with Law Enforcement and other First Responders.

The New England Center for Rescue and Emergency Medicine Presentation:

About romduck

Rom Duckworth is a dedicated emergency responder and award-winning educator with more than twenty five years of experience working in career and volunteer fire departments, public and private emergency services and hospital based healthcare systems. Currently a career Fire Captain / Paramedic and EMS Coordinator Rom is a frequent speaker at national conferences and a regular contributor to research, magazines, and textbooks on topics of field operations, leadership, and education in emergency services. Contact Rom via