There's a new drug in town, and it's already prompted one state to declare a state of emergency.

The drug, known as "spice", is a synthetic cannabinoid. The New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan declared the state of emergency after more than 40 people overdosed on the drug.

The drug is also known as "Smacked!"; Hassan said in a statement that the Department of Health and Human Services will work with local authorities to quarantine the drug.

"These products pose a serious threat to public health, especially to young people, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to combat the recent rash of overdoses," Hassan said.

"In consultation with the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, public health officials in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General's office, I have declared a State of Emergency so that we can move quickly to stop the sale of this dangerous substance that has caused an outbreak of serious overdoses."

Synthetic cannabinoids are chemically engineered drugs that are designed to be similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Though none of the overdoses so far have been fatal, many of the overdoses are being reported in the Manchester area. Manchester police have found the drug in three convenience stores.

Concord police have reported three overdoses within the last 24 hours.

The packets of Smacked are potpourri-like substances sprayed with the synthetic cannabinoid.

This situation is similar to one in 2012 that concerned bath salts. Thousands of people in the U.S. were sent to hospitals.

After this situation, a federal ban was placed on compounds that typically make up synthetic cannabinoid products and many states have adopted similar bans. But drug makers can slightly alter the chemical makeup of the product to circumvent these rules.

These synthetic cannabinoid products are marketed as "herbal incense products" that are not for human consumption, but people smoke or brew them to get high.

Besides Smacked, the brands "Crazy Monkey" and "Green Giant" have also tested positive for containing controlled substances.

The governor also warns merchants that if they are caught selling these products, they should destroy their inventory, and if they still continue to sell these substances, they can be held liable for any harm that comes to users.  

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.