Temporary Placement of 10 Synthetic Cathinones Into Schedule I

From the DEA:

The Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is issuing this final order to temporarily schedule 10 synthetic cathinones into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This action is based on a finding by the Deputy Administrator that the placement of these synthetic cathinones and their optical, positional, and geometric isomers, salts and salts of isomers into schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances will be imposed on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities, and possess), or propose to handle these synthetic cathinones.

NOTE:  The 10 substances are: 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone ("4-MEC"); 4-methyl-alpha-pyrrolidinopropiophenone ("4-MePPP"); alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone ("α-PVP"); 1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)butan-1-one ("butylone"); 2-(methylamino)-1-phenylpentan-1-one ("pentedrone"); 1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)pentan-1-one ("pentylone"); 4-fluoro-N-methylcathinone ("4-FMC"); 3-fluoro-N-methylcathinone ("3-FMC"); 1-(naphthalen-2-yl)-2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pentan-1-one ("naphyrone"); and alpha-pyrrolidinobutiophenone ("α-PBP").


Posted: 3/19/2014 12:15:00 PM

Tags: , , , ,

Possible tainted 'Bad News' heroin in Bucks County, PA

From the Bucks County Courier Times:

A tainted batch of heroin has been linked to six overdoses, one deadly, in Bucks County in the past week, state police said in a document obtained by The Intelligencer on Tuesday.

Five overdoses involved heroin brand-stamped “Bad News” and at least one overdose has been preliminarily linked to heroin laced with the prescription painkiller fentanyl, state police said.

Fentanyl is an odorless, undetectable synthetic drug with a potency 80 to 100 times stronger than heroin, said Ellen Unterwald, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the Temple University School of Medicine. When combined with fentanyl, heroin can be 100 times more powerful, she said.

“That’s where the problem comes in. The user doesn’t know how much they’re taking. They’re playing Russian roulette,” she said.

A spokeswoman from the state police Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center said an information alert was released for “public safety reasons” to emergency service and medical personnel. She offered no further comment, and neither confirmed nor denied the overdose reports mentioned in the document.

Posted: 3/5/2014 3:36:00 PM

Tags: , ,

New pain pill's approval: 'Genuinely frightening'

From CNN:

A potent little painkiller is causing a big stir.

A coalition of more than 40 health care, consumer and addiction treatment groups is urging the Food and Drug Administration to revoke approval of the prescription drug Zohydro.

The hydrocodone-based drug is the latest in a long line of painkillers called opioid analgesics. The FDA approved the medication last fall to treat chronic pain, and it is set to become available to patients in March.

"It's a whopping dose of hydrocodone packed in an easy-to-crush capsule," said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, president of the advocacy group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. "It will kill people as soon as it's released."

The concerns echoed by all groups are broadly about the drug's potency and abuse potential. They say they fear that Zohydro -- especially at higher doses -- will amplify already-rising overdose numbers.

"This could be the next OxyContin," says a petition on Change.org asking the FDA to reconsider.

"You're talking about a drug that's somewhere in the neighborhood of five times more potent than what we're dealing with now," said Dr. Stephen Anderson, a Washington emergency room physician who is not part of the most recent petition to the FDA about the drug. "I'm five times more concerned, solely based on potency."

Both Zohydro's maker, Zogenix, and the FDA assert the drug's benefits outweigh its risks.

Galer said the company will focus its commercial efforts on a small group of doctors with good experience prescribing opioids, so that only appropriate chronic pain patients would receive the drug.

Bigger, stronger opioids -- especially those containing hydrocodone -- are a concern. Hydrocodone (Zohydro's sole ingredient) is one of the most frequently prescribed -- and abused -- opioids.

For that reason, in October, the FDA said it intended to shift hydrocodone-containing drugs from Schedule III to Schedule II. That rescheduling (still pending approval by the Drug Enforcement Administration) would mean much stricter dispensing and prescribing rules for hydrocodone-containing products.

Zohydro will enter the market already classified as a Schedule II -- one reason both the FDA and the drug's maker are confident it will not contribute to the broader overdose problem.

Zohydro's labeling will feature warnings about abuse, addiction and misuse, and Galer said Zogenix is working on an abuse-deterrent version of Zohydro that should become available in three years.

Posted: 2/27/2014 3:54:00 PM

Tags: , , , ,

Fukushima radiation could reach Pacific coast by April

From SFGate:

Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not yet reached ocean waters along the Pacific coast, but low levels of radioactive cesium from the stricken Japanese power plant could arrive by April, scientists reported Monday.

The report came even as some Internet sites continue claiming that dangerously radioactive ocean water from Fukushima is showing up along California beaches - reports that have been denied by health officials and scientists since they first surfaced more than a month ago.

Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass., reported that four coastal monitoring sites in California and Washington have detected no traces of radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant destruction - "not yet," he said during a telephone press briefing.

According to a widely accepted model of the oceans' circulation patterns, traces of the plume of radioactive seawater from Fukushima should be detectable along the Pacific coast in April.

Posted: 2/27/2014 3:43:00 PM

Tags: , ,

Concerns Over New Dangerous Drug "Gravel" Spreading To Central Ohio

From WBNS-10TV (Columbus, OH):

Law enforcement is being warned tonight about a new, dangerous drug called gravel.

The cocktail can include rat poison, bath salts and methamphetamine. It reportedly makes users paranoid and suicidal.

It got the name gravel by the way it looks.

"When you combine a variety of drugs, none of which are good, you get a combination of something that is even worse than the sum of its parts," said Paul Coleman, the president and CEO of Maryhaven.

The new drug is being tracked in the southern part of the United States. A task force there is now warning law enforcement here in Central Ohio that it may be heading this way.

Posted: 2/27/2014 9:36:00 AM

Tags: , , , ,

New Drug Debuts On Local College Campus

From KWQC.com (Davenport, IA):

It's the first of its kind on the Knox college campus according to college police. They say officers were alerted about a student who had ingested the drug and was a psychotic episode and needing help. After investigating, campus police decided to inform the entire community through a drug alert.

Some of the students responded immediately by handing over the rest of the drug paraphernalia used by the hospitalized student. Galesburg Police chief David Christensen says the drug is called 25-I. It's a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of LSD while leaving its user in distress and experiencing hallucinations. Christensen says it's a the first for this drug being in the area.

Posted: 1/30/2014 11:00:00 AM

Tags: , , , ,

New drug-driving law will affect some prescription medicines

From WebMD:

It is illegal to drive or to attempt to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This is because drinking alcohol, or taking illegal drugs or some prescription medicines, can affect someone’s ability to drive safely. This summer, the government plans to update and clarify the law about ‘drug-driving’. It will state exactly which drugs are affected, and it will be an offence to drive if you have taken more than a specified level of that drug.

Although the list of drugs affected by the law will still mainly contain so-called ‘recreational’ drugs - things like cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy - there are some names on it that people will recognise as medicines. The prescription medicines on the list include methadone, morphine, and benzodiazepines including diazepam and temazepam.

People taking medicines prescribed by their doctor shouldn’t have any difficulty. The new law will state that people who take prescription drugs will have a legal defence (that means it’s not likely they will be prosecuted) as long as:

--they haven’t been taking more than the recommended dose of their medicine, and
--they haven’t gone against the advice about their medicine given in the manufacturer’s information leaflet.

Doctors are already well aware of which prescription drugs can affect people’s ability to drive - usually by making them drowsy. And doctors should make sure people who use these prescription medicines know about how these drugs might affect them.

Posted: 1/28/2014 10:51:00 AM

Tags: , , , ,

Painkiller-spiked heroin kills at least 17 in Pittsburgh region

From the New York Daily News:

Tainted heroin killed as many as 17 people in the region in the past seven days, including five suspected overdoses since Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Authorities say the killer dope is spiked with the powerful narcotic, fentanyl, and is being sold in baggies stamped with the word "Theraflu."

Allegheny County medical examiner Karl Williams said his office typically sees 250 fatal overdoes at year.

At this rate, the county was looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 deaths for 2014.

The rash of deaths brought to mind an epidemic of deadly “China White” heroin in the late 80s that killed nearly 20 and led to dozens more overdoses.

“China White” also contained fentanyl.

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:35:00 PM

Tags: , , , ,

Scary New Drug 'Krokodil' Seen for First Time in Texas

From WOAI (Texas):

The Texas DEA tells 1200 WOAI news that it has experienced the first case of a Texan being treated for using a new type of drug which leaves the user with flesh lesions and turns the skin a scaly green color.

The 17 year old girl from Houston checked into a hospital in the Mexican state of Jalisco, where she had gone to visit relatives over the holidays. She was complaining of digestive problems, and doctors notices the fresh skin lesions and diagnosed the drug use.

Officials say the girl told them that she obtained and ingested krokadil in Houston. DEA agents are now keeping an eye on Texas emergency rooms, to see if any more cases pop up here.

Researchers say Russian chemists cooked up the homemade concoction, using the prescription painkiller codeine, along with other scary chemicals including gasoline and phosphorus.

Posted: 1/6/2014 9:36:00 AM

Tags: , , , ,

Portable drug test a new addition at New Year's DUI checkpoints

From the Los Angeles Times:

The upcoming New Year’s crackdown on drunken driving will include a new test for many people who are pulled over — an oral swab that checks for marijuana, cocaine and other drugs.

The voluntary swabbing has been used just 50 times this year. But Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer is pushing to use it at more checkpoints and jails as officials try to limit the number of drivers impaired by substances other than alcohol.

“Traditionally, our office has focused on drunken driving cases,” Feuer said at a news conference Friday. “We’re expanding drug collection and aggressively enforcing all impaired-driving laws.”

Individuals arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs must submit to a blood test. But prosecutors said the eight-minute, portable oral fluids test could eventually become a more effective use of resources in drugged-driving cases.

The test screens for cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax), methamphetamine, amphetamines, narcotic analgesics, methadone and THC representative of marijuana usage within the past few hours.

Posted: 12/30/2013 9:34:00 AM

Tags: , ,