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‘Designer Drugs,’ or ‘High Tech Killers?’ With PM-Designer Drugs

July 26, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sen. Paula Hawkins, R-Fla., says so-called ″designer drugs″ need a new name to help dissuade youngsters who might think the dangerous substances are prestigious.

‴Designer’ seems to make people think that they’ve got to have something on their tennis shoes or something on the back of their jeans,″ Mrs. Hawkins complained at a Senate hearing Thursday. ″It makes it sound desirable.″

Robert Roberton, head of California’s drug program, told the hearing that officials there prefer the term ″synthetic drugs,″ to avoid the aura of the term ″designer drugs.″

But Mrs. Hawkins said in an age of readily accepted synthetic fabrics, even that was too attractive. In her opening statement, she used the term ″high tech killers.″

The term ″designer drugs″ was first coined in California to describe the product of skilled underground chemists who can virtually design a drug to order. Officials there say, however, that more than 100 people have died of overdoses, and one particularly dangerous drug has been blamed for causing Parkinson’s disease among addicts.

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