Tag Archives: synthetic drugs

Carfentanil Latest Synthetic Opioid to Hit North American Cities

Authorities have issued warnings about the effects of carfentanil, a potent synthetic opioid. It has similar properties to heroin and has been used as an elephant tranquilizer. Recently, though, carfentanil has made headlines due to its deadly consequences.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a warning to the public about the safety risks of carfentantil in September. It is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which a drug that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

The lethal dose for this drug in humans is unknown. Carfentanil is the most deadly opiate among the illicit street drugs, and taking a few granules the size table salt can be enough to prove fatal.

Illicit Drug Users Don’t Know they are Taking Carfentanil

Carfentanil is showing up in a number of communities in the United States and Canada, where it has been linked to several overdose incidents as well as deaths. Overdose victims believe that they are taking heroin and don’t realize that the drug they are buying has been laced with carfentanil, fentanyl or another harmful synthetic.

The issue of street drugs having other substances added to them is nothing new. There have been many reports over the years of users coming to harm due to ingesting something they didn’t realize had been added to the drugs they were buying.

Signs of Exposure to Carfentanil

The symptoms of exposure to carfentanil include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Sedation
  • Clammy skin
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Respiratory arrest

These symptoms usually start within a few minutes of exposure to the drug and require immediate medical attention. Carfentanil, like other fentanyl-type drugs have the potential to work very quickly.

Naxolone is an antidote for opioid overdose, and can be administered for carfentanil exposure. If this option is available, administer a dose immediately while waiting for help to arrive. Continue to administer an additional dose every two or three minutes until the affected person is able to breathe on their own for at least 15 minutes or until emergency services arrives.

Nearly $3 Million Allocated to Synthetic Marijuana Study

synthetic marijuanaSynthetic marijuana, often known as K2 or Spice, has become popular among younger children as an alternative to regular marijuana and other drugs. Children and teenagers are more likely to use the drug over organic marijuana because these substances can often be found at gas stations and convenience stores around the country. However, synthetic marijuana is extremely dangerous, even after very little use. In fact, there have been hundreds of incidents across the nation of people using different variations of the drug and having seizures, psychotic episodes and even becoming homicidal or suicidal.

One of the main problems with synthetic marijuana is that there is very little known about the drug. This is not a drug that is being produced in any regulated laboratory, so there is no type of oversight whatsoever. Despite the fact that many states have banned the substances, chemists overseas who make the drugs alter their formulas to circumvent the laws to keep more drugs filling the shelves.

In order to find out more about synthetic marijuana, a research team has been granted nearly $3 million to study the these drugs. Scientists at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have committed to a five-year study that will look into the effects of synthetic marijuana use. This is especially important because the phenomenon is relatively new, and not much is known about the long term implications of the drug.

“Synthetic cannabinoid products such as K2 and Spice are deceptively marketed as safe and legal alternatives to marijuana, but admissions to emergency rooms and calls to poison control centers suggest that they are certainly not safe,” said Paul Prather, Ph.D., the study’s principal investigator and professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. “Users of these products are experiencing psychosis, seizures, heart attacks and even death.”

In addition to studying the long term effects of synthetic marijuana, scientists also hope to find out more about the type of people that are most likely to use the drug. This information would help lawmakers and public officials in creating specialized public service announcements, targeting key demographics. More information about it can also help treatment professionals counteract the effects of the drug and develop specialized protocols, if needed.

Synthetic Drugs Continue to Rise in Popularity

Synthetic DrugsThere have been many trends in substance abuse over the past century or so in America as well as other countries. One of the latest, and equally dangerous, problems is the availability and use of various types of synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs are often appealing, especially to young people, because they can be purchased over the internet or sometimes even in convenience stores. However, despite the bright colors and deceptive packaging, these chemicals are anything but safe.

Side effects from synthetic drugs can range anywhere from depression and paranoia to suicidal tendencies and violent rages. There has also been an increasing amount of people who have overdosed or fallen into a coma after using these drugs. One of the main reasons for the higher level of danger associated with them is that they are made with untested chemicals and are not regulated by any type of governing body. Essentially, anyone with some chemical knowledge can manufacture and sell these substances anywhere in the world.

The continued rise in popularity of synthetic drugs is becoming much more of a global problem. The growing numbers of users has some speculating that these chemicals will even replace cocaine as the most abused drug in Latin America.

“The cocaine market is going to be reduced over the next two decades…but the world will have a very dangerous synthetic drug market that is going to need to be regulated,” reported Alberto Otarola, Peru’s anti-drug czar.

The United States government and several South American governments are working hard to reduce the amount of synthetic drugs that are being sold to people throughout the world. They are also heavily manufactured in and distributed from Asian countries. However, as long as the demand is there, it is likely that the operations will find a way to keep supply up. This brings us back to showing how important demand reduction tactics really are in reducing the drug problem, whether in Arizona, across the U.S., or worldwide.

New Types of Drugs Becoming Popular

bathsalts2Synthetic drugs are drugs that are manmade and can be created from a variety of chemicals and ingredients found around the home or purchased online. Some of these compounds are mass produced in a warehouse, sometimes overseas, and distributed to the general public via misleading packaging in convenience stores. Synthetic cocaine, marijuana and heroin can all be found on convenience store shelves labeled as potpourri or bath salts.

Lately, investigators have begun to crack down on the sale of these drugs and states have joined in on the fight as well. Many state legislatures are making it illegal to sell these drugs, therefore keeping them away from their target audience – children. However, typical to the drug game, manufacturers are one often step ahead and wind up creating new drugs to sell. These chemicals are taking cities by storm and law enforcement efforts are often struggling to keep up with the changing market.

Flakka and Budder are two new drugs that have recently hit the market. Flakka is a kind of bath salt which mimics the effects of stimulants but can also have hallucinogenic properties. While bath salts have been on the market for quite a bit, this one is different in that the recipe is different, which is part of the plan of synthetic drug makers – to alter ingredients enough to get new drugs on the market.

“People are staying up for days at a time sometimes, their heart-rate increases, and often they can go into sleep deprived psychosis or it can trigger a mental health, if someone’s predisposed for a mental health disorder it could trigger that,” explained Robert Park, an employee at a Florida drug treatment center.

Budder is a much different kind of drug made from hash oil. The process of extracting the hash oil and making it into its new form is quite dangerous, as it involves butane. Law enforcement officers have already responded to several fires and explosions caused by people trying to make Budder.

For those who are addicted to either of these drugs, their road to recovery is not any easier than other substances. Treatment and prevention are the best tools to fight addiction. The more information we can arm our young people with, the less they’ll be fooled by new drugs.

New Synthetic Drug Combines Two Highly Dangerous Substances

25iAs if methamphetamine and LSD couldn’t get more dangerous, some drug manufacturers are combining synthetic stimulants and hallucinogens into one deadly substance. The drug is known on the street as N-Bomb, Smiles or 25-I. Synthetic drugs have gained in popularity as consumers have realized that they are oftentimes easier to purchase and that the drugs produce similar highs to regular street drugs. Unfortunately, a common side effect of synthetic drugs is a more intense and long-lasting high that can produce hallucinations and paranoia.

“This group of drugs is actually synthetic drugs, meaning they’re made in chemistry labs. They are a combination of a hallucinogen and a stimulant, so it’s kind of like a combination between LSD and methamphetamines together,” explained Dr. Jan Stephani who works at the Poison Control Center in Oregon. The Poison Control Center in the state received 50 phone calls from people who had consumed the drug. Reports also indicate that 19 people died after taking N-Bomb.

The most common drugs in this category include bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Now this new concoction takes already harmful chemicals and mixes them to create an even more dangerous mental and physical state.

In order to make the public aware of the dangers of such a drug, Poison Control has started discussing the amount of emergencies and deaths that were the outcome of this new drug. Experts warn that consuming this drug can cause seizures, breathing and heart problems. For those that are not sure if someone has consumed N-Bomb, many users become very agitated and complain of frightening hallucinations. Hallucinations, paired with the intensity of the stimulant can cause a person to lose their sense of reality and act out in order to protect themselves from perceived threats.

What makes this drug even more dangerous is that it can be purchased on the internet. This means that users do not have to risk going on the streets to buy the drug, or even knowing someone who sells the drug, they simply have to go online.