Tag Archives: synthetic cannabis

Synthetic Opioids, A Real Threat

synthetic opioidsSurely, we can all agree that opioid narcotics should be the main focus of substance use prevention efforts in the United States. Americans continue to lose their lives every day from prescription opioid and heroin overdoses; many of those overdose deaths involve young adults caught in the grips of addiction. Opioid use disorder rates are well over 2 million Americans, and some experts believe that that number is actually much higher. Unlike other addictive narcotics, drugs in the opioid family can cause serious respiratory depression. It only takes a little bit too high of dose for one to experience an overdose, and without access to the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone, the outcome can be fatal. While drugs like heroin are already deadly enough, the narcotic is commonly mixed with even more potent synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Experts estimate fentanyl to be about 80 times more potent than morphine, and as much as 50 percent more potent than medical grade heroin. It is a drug that was never meant to be used without the close supervision of medical personnel, yet overdose death cases involving the drug are more and more common these days. Unfortunately, naloxone is not as effective with fentanyl-laced heroin as compared with heroin on its own, or with synthetic opioids all together.

Synthetic Drug Epidemic

The prescription opioid/heroin epidemic has proven to be next to impossible to curb, with so many variables to contend with between prescribing practices and the growing demand for heroin in the wake of prescription opioid government crackdowns. The matter is complicated even more by the fact synthetic opioids are becoming ever so common, some of which are not even illegal and can be purchased online by teenagers. Talk of synthetic drugs in the U.S. is usually with regard to “bath salts” or Spice (synthetic cannabinoids), along with a number of other chemically similar variations. There are zero standards in the synthetic drug world, which means that users have no way of predicting how they will react to those types of drugs. It is likely that you have heard the horror stories about violent attacks involving synthetic drugs. Government officials continue to attempt to make it harder for people to acquire such drugs, but is has proved to be a difficult task; every time a chemical formula is banned, chemists simply alter the composition. Teenagers and young adults can easily, and inexpensively purchase synthetic drugs, and they do so despite the dangerous side effects they might experience. While overdose deaths involving synthetic cannabis are relatively rare, when it comes to synthetic opioids that is simply not the case. What’s more, synthetic opioid death rates are likely to go in only one direction, due to the rise in the use of a family synthetic opioids—relatives of fentanyl. Such drugs include:
  • ifentanyl
  • carfentanil
  • furanyl fentanyl
  • U-47700
“Pink,” sold online under the name U-47700, is an unregulated synthetic opioid which could be up to eight times stronger than heroin, NBC News reports. The drug is being purchased online for $5 plus shipping, an appealing price tag for a potent drug.
This stuff is so powerful that if you touch it, you could go into cardiac arrest," said Police Chief Wade Carpenter, Park City, UT. "The problem is if you have a credit card and a cell phone, you have access to it."
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Merging Epidemics

At this point, the line between the opioid use epidemic and the synthetic drug scourge in America is blurring. If it weren’t easy enough already to acquire, try and become addicted to opioids, the surge in online synthetic opioid sales is concerning. The ability to buy drugs online appeals to, already Internet savvy, young adults. Many such users have no idea about the deadly nature of these drugs. If you are a young adult male abusing heroin or prescription opioids, please contact PACE Recovery Center. With each day that passes, there is a greater likelihood that a bag you buy will contain a deadly additive like fentanyl or carfentanil. Recovery is possible, and we can help you achieve it.

Synthetic Drug Flakka is Potent and Addictive

AlphaPVPWe recently shared with you a brief history of synthetic drugs, highlighting the dangers of these drugs in the future. As the synthetic drug landscape widens, new variations of drugs like “bath salts” (MDPV) and synthetic cannabis are sending hundreds of people to emergency rooms across the country. These types of products are sprayed with chemicals that mimic the effects of traditional mind altering drugs, but lack the chemical consistency which makes the side effects both unpredictable and dangerous. One of the latest synthetic drugs to hit the streets is known as Flakka (alpha-PVP). Flakka is a drug which is as potent as a stimulant, and therefore as addictive as its chemical cousin MDPV, Science Daily reports. The findings come from researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). Recently, a number of southern states, especially Florida have seen increased incidents of Flakka use among citizens. The side-effects associated with Flakka use include, but are not limited to:
  • Extreme Violence
  • Paranoid Psychoses
  • Compulsive Nudity
  • Zombie-like Behavior
  • Superhuman Strength
"There have been assertions that flakka is somehow worse than MDPV, but this study shows that the two are very similar," said Michael A. Taffe, an associate professor at TSRI. While Flakka may not be worse than bath salts, drugs which have been tied to a number of horrific news stories, co-senior author of the study, TSRI Associate Professor Tobin J. Dickerson added, "That doesn't mean that flakka use is 'safe' -- our data show that flakka is as potent as MDPV, making it a very good stimulant, arguably with worse addiction liability than methamphetamine." Potential users of synthetic drugs need to understand that they are taking huge risks when they use these types of chemicals. View little, if any in some cases, human testing is conducted with chemicals like MDPV and alpha-PVP - there is no way of knowing what kind of side-effects the user will experience. The findings were published in the journal Psychopharmacology.