By Matt Noffs for The Age. Synthetic cannabis has been implicated in the death of Dean Shield.

We lost another young Australian to drugs this week. Dean Shield, 17, was found dead, allegedly after consuming a synthetic drug.

What are synthetic drugs? In many respects they are akin to many illicit substances – they are, more often than not, manufactured and sold in shoddy conditions and without any control. But synthetic drugs are different in that they are the cheaper and nastier version of many other illicit substances – although it’s difficult to believe cheaper and nastier is possible.

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