Health & Safety

July 5, 2012

Synthetic designer drugs — are they here to stay?

By John Moore, Sr.,
ASAP Prevention Coordinator

Synthetic designer drugs — are they here to stay?

Yes, it seems they are!

Many have heard about the man-made drugs, Spice and Bath Salts, but how much do people really know about these relatively new synthetic products?

A designer drug is a psychoactive drug which is created or marketed to get around modifying the molecular structures of existing drugs to varying degrees.

Spice, or K-2, is known as synthetic cannabis or marijuana. It is marketed as an incense or “herbal smoking blend.” The herbs in Spice are laced with chemicals known as “synthetic cannabinoids.” The five most common chemical ingredients added to this herbal incense cause it to mimic marijuana is every way. The user will experience euphoria, bloodshot eyes, giddiness, silliness, short-term memory loss, paranoia, time distortion, panic attacks, impaired coordination and even the “munchies” (increased appetite). Sadly, the duration of the “high” or euphoria is anywhere between 8-12 hours. That’s a long time to be impaired.

The U.S. Army led the way in banning the use of Spice by Soldiers in 2010. On March 1, 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration made Spice illegal nationwide, and placed the five synthetic cannabinoids into “Schedule I” of the Controlled Substances Act, right alongside PCP, Ecstasy, and marijuana. It is illegal for Soldiers to purchase, use or even possess Spice according to the March 22 Army News Service.

Are some Soldiers on Fort Huachuca using Spice? Yes! Can the command drug test for Spice? Yes! A Commander can contact the Army Criminal Investigation Division for more detailed information.

Another synthetic designer drug is marketed as “Bath Salts.” These are not the traditional bath salts used legitimately for water-softening or aroma therapeutic purposes. This designer drug is a central nervous system stimulant containing chemicals similar to cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA (Ecstasy) or LSD. Bath salts come in powder or crystal form and crumbles easily. Most commonly, it is snorted up the nose, but can also be injected into the blood stream, smoked like crack, or mixed with food or drink.

This dangerous drug causes the user to experience psychotic episodes and extreme paranoia. Some users have reported seeing demons, monsters, foreign soldiers or aliens. Others have experienced what is called “Excited Delirium.”

The symptoms of this brain disorder are bizarre and/or aggressive behavior, shouting, paranoia, panic, violence towards others, unexpected physical strength, and hyperthermia, which is why some users disrobe in an attempt to cool off.

Recently, ABC News reported a story about a naked man in Miami who ate off the face of a homeless man while under the influence of Bath Salts.

“The grisly assault on a homeless man whose face was eaten by a deranged assailant lasted for 18 agonizing minutes and was captured on nearby surveillance cameras. Rudy Eugene, who authorities suspect may have been high on a dangerous new street drug known as ‘bath salts,’ had to be shot four times by a police officer to halt the cannibalistic attack,” according to abcnews.go.com.

Further, a homeless man high on drugs and drunk on the alcoholic energy drink “Four Loco,” growled and tried to bite off a police officer’s hand after he was arrested for disturbing customers in a Miami fast food restaurant. In this new case, Brandon De Leon, repeatedly banged his head against the patrol car’s Plexiglas and yelled, “I’m going to eat you.” Cops placed restraints on De Leon and fit him with a Hannibal Lecter-style bite mask. This was reported by NBC Miami, NY Daily News, The Washington Post and other news sources.

Are some Soldiers on Fort Huachuca using Bath Salts? Yes! Can we drug test for Bath Salts? Yes! A commander can contact CID for more information.

The DEA recently commended Congress House and Senate negotiators for agreeing on legislation to control 26 synthetic drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Spice (K2) and Bath Salts continue to be listed among these dangerous substances.

So, are synthetic designer drugs here to stay? Seemingly, they are!

 

Want more information? Contact the Fort Huachuca Army Substance Abuse Program team at 533.2071. There are also National Hotlines for Substance Abuse help and info:

 

1.800.821.4357 — Alcohol and Drug Helpline

1.800.622.2255 — National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

1.800.442.HOPE (4673) — National Youth Crisis Hotline

1.800.234.0420 — Alcohol and Drug Abuse Helpline & Treatment

1.800.331.2900 — Alcohol Hotline Support & Information (Youth)

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Mike Williams

Flooding still underway this year — avoid water runoff problems

Mike Williams Runoff crosses the road during a monsoon storm. Remember to stay safe, and if you see even a small amount of water crossing the roadway, remember to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown!’ While rain in a desert climate...
 
 

Antiterrorism Awareness Month: Army community must stay alert

WASHINGTON — A suspicious package arrives in the mail. An employee is acting erratically. A group is seen surveying an Army installation. A social media contact you’ve never met has taken a keen interest in your unit’s movements. The Army community needs to be aware of their surroundings and report anything that seems out of...
 
 

2014 Antiterrorism Awareness Message

What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist they ought to be ascertained and guarded against. ~ James Monroe, 1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817 August marks the Army’s fifth annual observance of Antiterrorism Awareness Month. Each year, we improve our defenses through increased threat awareness and organizational and individual protection measures. Throughout...
 

 
U.S. Army photo

New Army PT uniforms result of Soldier feedback

U.S. Army photo Capt. Leala McCollum poses in the Army Physical Fitness Uniform running jacket and pants. WASHINGTON — A new Army Physical Fitness Uniform will become available service-wide, beginning in October next year. It...
 
 

How Office of Soldiers’ Counsel can assist with disability proceedings

The Office of Soldiers’ Counsel, OSC, is an organization of judge advocates and Civilian attorneys/paralegals spread out over 30 locations worldwide, with roughly 200 attorneys and paralegals. The organization has representatives ready to assist Soldiers throughout their disability process, with specific counsel for the Medical Evaluation Board, MEB, stage of their case, and other counsel...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Fort holds memorial ceremony for recently retired FH police chief

Maranda Flynn Andrew and Lisa Shears carry the remains of Ollie James Shears, the recently retired chief of police with Fort Huachuca’s Directorate of Emergency Services, into the Main Post Chapel, Fort Huachuca, Aug. 8, for ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin