Addiction

Guest Post: The Ins and Outs of Drug Testing

A drug testing program can be an important part of a company, school or drug rehabilitation center’s policy. Some parents have even taken it upon themselves to initiate drug testing in their own homes in the interest of keeping their children drug free. And while most drug testing programs use the urine drug testing method, there are other ways of testing for substance abuse. We will look at the three most common drug testing methods and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Instant drug tests and lab drug tests   All drug testing falls into one of these two categories. …

Taking a Look at Krokodil–The Flesh-Eating Street Drug

We’ve done several blogs on the street drugs Molly, K2 and Spice, and now it’s time to take a look at Krokodil. Krokodil is a homemade heroin substitute birthed in a rural part of Russia. Its primary ingredient is desomorphine – a morphine derivative once used in Switzerland in the 30s under the brand name Permonid because of its effectiveness and reputation for being short-acting with a quick onset–it’s around 8-10 times more potent than morphine. The street use is far different and much more sinister.   Krokodil is manufactured from what is purported to be a simple synthesis of …

Molly: A Dangerous, Synthetic Ride

Molly is the slang term for the man-made drug MDMA (ecstasy). It’s a well-known synthetic, psychoactive drug often used at all-night parties or raves and sold as the “pure form of MDMA,” something medical professionals and the DEA are finding far from the truth. What is being sold is an unpredictable variation of MDMA with various synthetic drugs being used as filler. Molly provides a fast, relatively long acting (3-6 hours) high with the following effects:   Increased energy Euphoria, Emotional warmth and empathy to others Distortions in sensory or time perception   The physical effects of Molly are similar …

In the News: Synthetic Marijuana aka Crazy Clown

Synthetic Marijuana is back in the news, this time under the names “Crazy Clown” or “Herbal Madness Incense.” Eight teens and young adults were sent to the hospital in Georgia this weekend because of the effects of this drug. The CDC is investigating this latest designer drug incarnation and has issued a warning. The use of synthetic marijuana is incredibly dangerous and presents a growing public health concern. According to the CDC: “Sixteen cases of synthetic cannabinoid-related acute kidney injury occurred in six states in 2012. Synthetic cannabinoids, which are sold in smoke shops and convenience stores under names like …

Smiles: The Dark Side of a Joyful Symbol

Smiles, yet another designer drug to hit the US seems to be just as deadly as the other synthetic drugs we are more familiar with. According to the DEA, this drug is “a synthetic drug abused for its hallucinogenic effects,” and has “been encountered in a number of states by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.”  Still, the findings regarding this substance are so preliminary, all we really have to refer to are user stories on YouTube, and that’s not an ideal source. The popularity of drugs like Smiles, K2, Spice, and Bath Salts is partly due to the ease …

Synthetic Drugs: Elusive and Troubling

One thing’s for sure: teens are curious. And we’d be remiss in forgetting their quintessential stubbornness and hints of recklessness, which, of course, feeds their curiosity. Now with the surge of synthetic drugs on the market, coupled with the fact that most parents don’t know much about them, the curiosity factor is heightened. Sure, parents can wax poetic about the drugs of their time: marijuana, methamphetamines, psychedelics, cocaine, and pills. But when it comes to synthetic drugs like K2 or Spice or the mythos of Bath Salts, parents and teachers alike are as baffled as the authorities. We’ve been writing …

Marijuana and its Synthetic Counterparts: A Look at a New Study

Part one of a three-part blog, wherein I will begin to address the use of marijuana and synthetic marijuana. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3, where I will address the increase in prescription drug and hookah use. Recent studies elicited by Monitoring the Future (MTF) show a decrease in alcohol consumption and tobacco use; at the same time, they found an increase in the use of alternate tobacco products (hookah, small cigars, smokeless tobacco), marijuana, and prescription drugs. One explanation for the increase in marijuana consumption is a lower perceived risk: “In recent years, fewer teens report seeing much …

Spice: Your Synthetic Nightmare

Spice, K2, Cloud Nine, Potpourri: call it what you will, it’s all the same: a legal, synthetic, psychotropic drug lurking at the counters of your local liquor store.  Some use these drugs once and walk away, disillusioned by the multitude of negative effects. The addiction-prone continue, disregarding the negative nuances, anxious to get high.  Addiction is funny that way: the bad never seems bad enough to stop. Recently, 20/20 did an exposé on bath salts, K2, and Spice, exposing the dangers and widespread concern amidst parents and law enforcement officials. Our medical director, Dr. David Lewis, addressed some of the …

Synthetic Doesn’t Mean Safe

Sometimes marketed as incense or an herbal smoking blend, synthetic marijuana is readily available for teens via the internet and some drug paraphernalia shops.  Rather than banning the products themselves (Spice, K2, Blaze, and Red X Dawn), the FDA is seeking to ban the 5 chemicals used to create the herbal blends. The FDA wants to place the chemicals in the same category as heroin and cocaine, due to increased reports of  seizures, dependency of poison centers, hallucinations, hospitals, and law enforcement as a result of its use. Synthetic or not, it’s still a drug, and it still has the …