Designer Drugs: K2/Spice, Bath Salts, Molly and Others

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Vinnie HappWednesday, December 11, 2013Breakout Session2:15 to 3:30

Transcript of Designer Drugs: K2/Spice, Bath Salts, Molly and Others

  • Material by: Paul L. Cary Toxicology Laboratory

    University of Missouri

    Suman Rana Redwood Toxicology Laboratory

    Dr. Barry Logan NMS Labs

    Presented by: Vinnie Happ Redwood Toxicology Laboratory,

    An Alere Company.

    Designer Drugs and Pain Killers

    Spice/K2, Bath Salts, Molly, Oxy etc.

    Problems & Challenges Posed By

    December 11, 2013

    NORMAN A husband and wife are accused of selling synthetic substances that have an effect similar to marijuana when smoked, police Capt. Tom Easley said Tuesday. Christie Leigh England, 36, and Dennis Kirby England, 41, were charged Friday in Cleveland County District Court with possession of a controlled synthetic substance with the intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Dennis England faces one count, while Christie England is charges with two counts. Norman Police began investigating the Englands' business, Ancient Aromatherapy, 230 W Gary St., after three people were arrested by a patrol officer for possessing synthetic drugs. The substances commonly known as K2 or Spice are sold as herbal incense or potpourri. Undercover officers paid $10 per gram for the products, Easley said.

    Norman OK couple charged with selling synthetic drugs A Norman couple who own an aromatherapy business have been charged with selling synthetic drugs. Published: March 26, 2013

    DEA announces 'largest-ever' synthetic drug bust; 11 arrested in Louisiana By Michelle Hunter, | The Times-Picayune June 26, 2013 ...officials on Wednesday announced the results of the "largest-ever" synthetic drug takedown, a bust that included suspects in 35 states and five countries. The Louisiana arrests were in Terrebonne Parish."We executed 10 search warrants, three at businesses and seven at residences," Bryan said. "We seized a large quantity of synthetic marijuana, $500,000 to $600,000 in cash and four vehicles. Synthetic drugs are lab-created designer narcotics often marketed as herbal incense, bath salts, jewelry cleaner or plant food. Users of synthetic marijuana and bath salts have reported addiction, overdoses, seizures, violent hallucinations, elevated blood pressure, loss of consciousness and in some cases, death. Agents with Project Synergy uncovered a "massive flow" of drug-related proceeds heading to Middle Eastern countries, according to the DEA. "The case and the investigation led to money transfers going to the Middle East," Bryan said. "There are money laundering and racketeering charges involved.

    Six in Arkansas charged in nationwide synthetic drug probe Operation Spicy Possum This article was originally published June 26, 2013 The group is suspected of distributing synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones from businesses in Little Rock, including Sunshine Food, Sunshine Mart and Hip Hop Sportswear, according to information released at a news conference at Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters in Little Rock. The suspects are described as owners of the businesses. ..."Many people have the misconception that these drugs are not dangerous or that they are not illegal," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Christopher Thyer said. "Both of those two assertions are categorically false. The arrests are part of Project Synergy, a 35-state investigation that authorities are calling the largest-ever probe into designer drugs. More than 75 arrests have been made nationwide and more than $15 million in cash and property has been seized, officials said. The local investigation, named Operation Spicy Possum, involved 75 law enforcement officers searching the businesses and making arrests early Wednesday. The local investigation's name, is a combination of a slang term for one of the drugs and a reference to how possums play dead. "I don't name these," Bryant said. "I just get stuck explaining them.

    18 arrested in alleged synthetic marijuana operation in Oklahoma, Texas AUSTIN, Texas At least 18 people have been arrested in an alleged synthetic marijuana production and distribution ring operating in Texas and Oklahoma. BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 27, 2013 AUSTIN, Texas At least 18 people have been arrested in an alleged synthetic marijuana production and distribution ring operating in Texas and Oklahoma. Federal investigators say the cases involve synthetic marijuana and bath salts sold in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Dallas and Laredo, plus Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. Prosecutors say a five-count federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Austin charges six people with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana known as cannabinoids.

    D.C. launches zombie-themed campaign to fight synthetic marijuana use BySam FordMay 3, 2013 Washington DC

    The D.C. Health Department has launched an interactive zombie-themed campaign and website to warn about the dangers of various forms of synthetic marijuana. Recent focus group findings in partnership with DOH and local youth-based organizations indicate that synthetic marijuana is seen as an alternative to marijuana, as a result of its cheap cost and ability to go undetected in routine drug testing, the statement reads. According to a statement from the department, the average age of synthetic marijuana users is 13. It looks like marijuana and it's marketed with names like Spice, K2, Scooby Doo and Dopey Dwarf. A 2011 survey released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that one in nine high school seniors had used Spice or K2. Synthetic marijuana is the second most commonly used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors, according to the DOH statement.

  • Designer Drugs:

    drugs, which are created (or reformulated, if the drug already existed) to get around existing drug laws CSA (controlled substance act), usually by modifying the molecular structures of existing drugs to varying degrees

    Sources of Incense (k2) Products:

    internet/on-line sources head shops/alternative medicine stores /

    convenience stores/flea markets 1-(800) phone ordering services individual distributors

    Preparation of the incense:

    Botanical plants/herbs are sprayed with liquid preparations of: HU-210 HU-211 CP 47,497 JWH-018 JWH-073

    JWH-250 JWH-081 JWH-210 XLR-11, UR-144 And many


    Origins of Synthetic Cannabinoids CP 47,497 - developed by Pfizer in 1980 as an

    analgesic (pain reliever) HU-210 & HU-211 - synthesized at Hebrew

    University, Israel in 1988. HU-210 is an anti-inflammatory; HU-211 as an anesthetic

    JWH-018 & JWH-073 - synthesized by a researcher at Clemson (1995) for use in THC receptor research - John W. Huffman

    more than 200 different synthetic cannabinoids have been created

    How K2/Spice works: Synthetic Cannabinoids act as THC agonists

    -An agonist is a chemical that binds to a receptor and triggers a response often mimicking the action of

    the naturally occurring substance. Receptor

    Drug (agonist)

    Why Change the Key? prolong the effect of the drug increase the potency of the drug select the desired effect avoid patent infringement make the drug more difficult to detect make an illegal drug legal


  • Pharmacological Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids are Similar to THC increase heart rate & blood pressure altered state of consciousness, mild euphoria relaxation, perceptual alterations (time distortion) intensification of sensory experiences pronounced cognitive effects impaired short-term memory reduction in motor skill acuity increase in reaction times Sickness kidney damage

    Synthetic Marijuana Use Linked to Kidney Damage Such designer drugs, called Spice or K2, may have toxic additives, researchers say By Mary Elizabeth Dallas - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    (HealthDay News) -- Case studies analyzed by doctors from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that this designer drug, which mimics the effects of marijuana, has been directly linked to serious kidney damage. The researchers suggested that doctors should suspect the use of synthetic marijuana when patients, particularly young adults, have unexplained acute kidney damage "Cases of acute coronary syndrome associated with synthetic marijuana use have been reported, but our publication is the first to associate use with acute kidney injury," study co-author Dr. Gaurav Jain, an assistant professor in the nephrology division, said in a university news release. Abnormally rapid heart rate and seizures have also been reported with synthetic marijuana use, he noted.

    Reported Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids are different to THC

    production inconsistencies herbal incense blends are harsher to inhale effect on appetite is non-existent increased restlessness & aggressive behavior herbal incense produces a shorter high (perceptual

    alterations & sensory effects are limited) doesnt mix well with alcohol (hangovers) incense costs more than marijuana?

    Cannabis vs. Cannabinoids: Effects Seen in Clinical Cases Most symptoms are

    similar to cannabis intoxication:

    -Abnormally rapid heart rate Reddened eyes Anxiousness Mild sedation Hallucinations Acute psychosis Memory deficits

    Symptoms not typically seen after cannabis intoxication:

    Seizures Potassium deficiency Hypertension Nausea/vomiting Agitation Violent behavior Coma

    SOURCES: Hermanns-Clausen et al . (In Press), Addiction; Rosenbaum et al . (2012). Journal of Medical Toxicology; Forrester et al. (2011). Journal of

    Addictive Disease; Schneir et al . (2011). Journal of Emergency Medicine.

    Can synthetic THC chemicals be