FDA Warns Company Caught Selling Alternatives to Street Drugs

The FDA recently issued a warning to Legal Lean — the manufacturer of two food and supplement products — for selling products containing dangerous, unapproved drugs that mimic the effects of cocaine, morphine, and ecstasy. Legal Lean Syrup and Coco Loko were found to contain harmful ingredients that could cause serious adverse health reactions in some individuals. The FDA says that the manufacturer’s marketing materials are suggesting that consumers are to use these products as alternatives to illicit street drugs.

Harmful Substances Found in New Food Products

Street Drugs

The drug doxylamine found in Legal Lean Syrup can cause adverse health effects.

In their report, the FDA says that Legal Lean Syrup was found to contain doxylamine — a sedative drug commonly found in over-the-counter sleep-aid products. Doxylamine can cause adverse health effects when used with alcoholic beverages, and can cause allergic reactions and other problems in those with underlying medical conditions. At present, Legal Lean Syrup does not list doxylamine as an ingredient, and offers no warnings surrounding how the product should not be used with alcohol. Legal Lean Syrup is marketed as a “mood-boosting drink” intended to help users “unwind after a stressful day.”

Coco Loko is a chocolate-flavored energy powder described as “raw cacao snuff” promoted to be used by snorting. The product has been compared to cocaine, and contains ingredients taurine and guarana — both of which have not been evaluated for intranasal administration, or snorting. Coco Loko is currently marketed as a food and dietary supplement, but the FDA says that this product is neither, since conventional food and supplements should not be snorted.

Legal Lean has advertised that Coco Loko can offer its users a “steady rush of euphoric energy,” along with effects similar to that produced by morphine and ecstasy. The FDA has ruled that these products are dangerous to the American public — especially since they are easily accessible to minors and marketed to appeal to this age group. Legal Lean has 15 business days to respond to the FDA with a statement detailing how they plan on correcting these problems with their products.

The Dangers Surrounding Misbranded Drugs

FDA-approved drugs, foods, and supplements are tested for their safety and efficacy, and often contain explicit labels listing all ingredients, warnings, and potential side effects. Explicit labeling can help Americans with allergies and existing medical conditions avoid certain products that can cause potential harm. Those who use products like Coco Loko and Legal Lean Syrup without knowing about the potential risks can suffer deadly heath consequences, and may face a higher risk for drug abuse and dependency.

Since drug abuse has become a serious public health issue in the U.S., the FDA is concerned that products such as these are encouraging substance abuse among Americans since they claim to mimic the effects of recreational drugs. These products also claim to “affect the structure or function of the mind,” which further indicates that these products are solely intended to be used for recreation.

Getting Help for Drug Abuse

Alcohol, prescription drugs, club drugs like ecstasy, and energy drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine are all examples of substances that can be easily obtained in the U.S. and carry a high risk for dependence and addiction. Drug detox centers can help anyone who suffers from substance abuse become healthier and addiction-free. Many of today’s detox treatments carry a low risk for pain and discomfort, and can be safely conducted at an inpatient treatment center.

Detox treatments help patients overcome physical dependency on drugs and substances, while therapies like support groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy help patients address the underlying root causes of their addiction. Drug detox centers also offer programs aimed specifically at children and teens that teach them how to avoid and combat peer pressure, and how to steer clear of dangerous products like Legal Lean Syrup and Coco Loko that can cause lifelong problems with addiction.

If you or someone you love needs help fighting drug abuse, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) . Our caring drug abuse counselors will discuss all your treatment options, and help you find affordable treatment at a nearby drug detox center.

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