FROM school-aged children to over 65s, Queenslanders are using synthetic drugs mimicking the effects of LSD, methylamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has been forced to release early a public report based on confidential intelligence about the rising use of synthetic drugs.
This move follows the recent deaths of two men in Mackay.
The CCC report indicted the QLD market for synthetic drugs, also know as New and Emerging Psychoactive Substances (NPS), was expanding, particularly in regions such as Central QLD.
CCC acting chairman Dr Ken Levy said it was important the community understands the criminality associated with using, possessing, distributing and producing these illegal substances.
"The CCC is releasing this report so the Queensland community better understands that the NPS and synthetic drugs markets are dangerous and illegal,'' Dr Levy said.
They are treated just like traditional illicit drugs.
The CCC and other law enforcement agencies are actively targeting the production, importation, trafficking and possession of NPS and synthetic drugs.
Dr Levy said the message was simple.
"People using, purchasing, distributing or producing these synthetic drugs are committing serious offences," he said.
"They are contributing to the expansion of markets used by criminals.
"These drugs are not safer, or less illegal, than traditional illicit drugs.
"In some respects, the synthetic drugs are more dangerous.
"Their chemical ingredients are unknown," Dr Levy said.
SYNTHETIC DRUG FACTS
Using NPS is illegal - criminals and organised crime groups are facilitating their supply.
Using NPS can result in death or coma - young people are particularly vulnerable.
The long-term effects of using NPS are unknown.