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Our Community's Newest Designer Drugs

 


What are designer drugs?

Designer drugs are synthetic substances that are created in a laboratory setting that is typically secret and illegal. The purpose of producing such drugs is to circumvent current drug laws by manipulating the chemical structure of existing drugs, or by altering the chemical properties of a legal substance to create a product that produces a similar experience to illegal recreational drugs.

The concept of designer drugs is not a new one. However, as new laws are created to make such substances illegal, new drugs are constantly being produced and marketed as legal products. Some of these, while often may be marked not for human consumption, are sold at corner stores, smoke shops, and even on the internet.

The fact that the production of these drugs remains unregulated increases the potential danger of ingesting such products. For example, the exact ingredients and potency of such substances may vary, and the effects that they may have on the body and brain are highly unpredictable.

 

K2 Spice

What is it? A commercial product that is often sold as a tiny package of herbal incense or potpourri. The “incense” is an herbal blend that is sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, such as JWH-018 and JWH-073. Although these products are marketed: not for human consumption, they are rolled up in joints or inhaled from pipes and smoked like marijuana. Smoking these substances causes a high and mimics the affects that marijuana has on the brain. These products have the propensity to be habit forming and can be addictive.

 

 

What are some street names for it?
● Spice
● K2
● Legal marijuana
● Fake Pot/Weed
● Mr. Nice Guy Incense
● Voodoo

 

 

How can I tell if someone is using it? Smoking K2 Spice provides the same type of high experienced when smoking marijuana, however, the synthetic cannabinoids added to the herbal blend cause additional, and often unpredictable side effects such as:
● Pale skin
● Reddening of the eyes
● Vomiting
● Severe agitation
● Seizures
● Elevated heart rate
● Hallucinations
● Nausea
● Dizziness

How is acquired? These products are typically found in smoke shops, some gas stations, and from various internet websites making it easily accessible to individuals of any age. It may be marketed under names such as Spice Gold or Yucatan Fire in brightly colored packages featuring psychedelic art.

Can it be tested? It is important to monitor the use and abuse of K2 Spice because several states are making the move to outlaw these products. Some states, such as Texas, already have. Because these products act like marijuana when consumed, it may be assumed that a standard drug screen testing for marijuana will detect any K2 Spice in the system. This is NOT the case. However, there are methods to screen for K2 Spice and drug tests that will specifically pick up the synthetic cannabinoid additives: JWH-018, and JWH-073.


Purple Drank

What is it? A liquid concoction that originated from the hip-hop scene in Houston, Texas. It is a drink that utilizes prescription-strength cough syrup that has promethazine and the opiate codeine as its primary ingredient. It is mixed with other ingredients, typically Sprite, Big Red, grape Kool Aid, or alcohol, and Jolly Rancher candies. The cough syrup gives the drink a purplish hue, hence the name, and in high enough doses can have the same risks and effects as morphine.

What are some street terms for it?
● Purple drank
● Syrup
● Sizzurp
● Lean

How can I tell if someone is using it? Individuals consuming Purple Drank may show signs that are characteristic of opiate use or abuse. Codeine has a relaxation effect on the body with the ability to act as a sedative and to alter levels of consciousness, and is often abused to get high due to its sedative abilities and These symptoms may be more exaggerated in individuals consuming a Purple Drank concoction mixed with alcohol.

● Pin point pupils
● Nodding
● Sleepiness/Drowsiness
● Agitation
● Disorientation
● Decrease in blood pressure
● Shallow breathing

How is it acquired? The majority of the ingredients found in Purple Drank are readily accessible at any grocery or corner store. The primary ingredient, prescription strength cough syrup, may be acquired from a doctor’s prescription. The cough syrup may also be acquired from street dealers that have has been stolen or obtained illegally from warehouses or pharmacies.

Can it be tested? The primary ingredient in Purple Drank is a cough-syrup containing the opiate Codeine. The cough syrup typically contains 60 mg of Codeine per liquid ounce. Purple Drank can be tested with any standard drug screens designed to detect opiates.

 

Bath salts

What is it? A dangerous, highly addictive, recreational drug that has no association with bathing, but is sold with the intention to be snorted, smoked, or injected. Rather, bath salts are a compilation of amphetamine-like compounds such as MDPV or mephedrone. The chemicals in the substances act on the brain like stimulants, creating a high propensity for addiction. Consumption of these products has led to a number of hospitalization and suicide across various states due to the extreme psychosis that accompanies the drug’s use.

 

What are some street terms for it?
● White rush
● Cloud nine
● Vanilla Sky
● Ivory wave
● White lightning
● Hurricane Charlie

How can I tell if someone is using it? While bath salts are very dangerous it can be difficult to distinguish if a person is using them. The most significant signs of bath salt use are the odd behaviors that sometimes accompany the psychological symptoms.
● Chest pains
● Increased blood pressure
● Agitation
● Hallucinations
● Delusions
● Extreme paranoia
● Decrease in sleep
● Decrease in appetite

How is it acquired? These products are available on the internet and in some gas stations, smoke shops, and convenience stores. These products are marketed under no age restriction and are therefore easily accessible to individuals of any age. Costing as little as $20 a packet, these drugs are also easily affordable.

Can it be tested? While the effects of bath salts are similar to high levels of amphetamine use, they cannot be detected with a standard drug screen. However, bath salts can be tested under gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. There are two separate tests for bath salts. One test is designed to specifically test is designed to specifically detect MDPV and mephedrone, the two key ingredients in bath salts. The other test is designed to detect both MDPV and mephedrone, as well as a number of synthetic amphetamines and a complete ecstasy panel.


Marijuana tinctures

What is it? Marijuana tincture is a liquid form of marijuana. Because THC is soluble in alcohol, it is used to create a drinkable form of Cannabis. The purpose of using alcohol is to preserve the cannabinoids from the plant, causing the material to retain its potency. Marijuana tinctures are made from taking the cannabis plant material and soaking it in pure alcohol for a prolonged period of time, and straining it. Usually administered orally through a dropper, a meager 2 to 3 drops can lead to a period of intoxication lasting between 2 and 4 hours.

What are some street terms for it?
● Tincture of cannabis
● Liquid marijuana
● Liquid THC
● Tink
● Green dragon
● Mayzack


How can I tell if someone is using it? The effects of using a marijuana tincture are the same as smoking marijuana and individuals may present accordingly.
● Euphoria
● Confusion
● Slowed thinking
● Delayed reaction time
● Impaired balance and coordination
● Possible increase in blood pressure
● Possible increase in anxiety

How is it acquired? To make a marijuana tincture, one simply needs to get access to marijuana and alcohol. Marijuana is often readily available through street dealers and private vendors.
Marijuana tinctures may also be sold from street dealers, and are even available online for as little as twenty-five dollars.

Can it be tested? Marijuana tinctures are essentially a liquid form of marijuana and have the ability to show up on any standard drug screen that is designed to detect marijuana.


Dipping

 

What is it? Dipping is a re-emerging trend of smoking marijuana cigarettes soaked in embalming fluid and/or PCP. The combination of the marijuana and embalming fluid produces an intoxication that presents itself as nearly identical to that seen in PCP use. Dipping often produces hallucinogenic effects, and the fluid causes the cigarette to burn more slowly resulting in a prolonged high. Dipping is subject to abuse, because it retains the same addictive capacity as PCP causing a strong psychological dependence and cravings.

What are some street terms for it?
● Wet
● Fry sticks
● Ace
● Amp
●Chips
● Dank
● Dips
● Frios
● Ill
● Happy sticks

How I can tell if someone is doing it? Dipping produces a state of intoxication consistent of PCP use, and signs characteristic of marijuana use are often present as well. PCP is a dissociative drug that results in a large number of negative psychological effects producing symptoms that similar to Schizophrenia. Marijuana impairs attention and coordination, and affects the way the mind processes information.


● Euphoria
● Agitation
● Disorganized speech/thoughts
● Diminished attention
● Delusions
● Hallucinations
● Image distortion
● Increased heart rate
● Sweating
● Hypersalivation

How is it acquired? Dipping is a dangerous technique of getting a cheap high. The marijuana can be attained from street dealers and private vendors. When marijuana is unavailable individuals will also often use regular cigarettes and dip them in embalming fluid. Embalming fluid is often illegally acquired through funeral home break-ins, but is also available from drug manufacturers and chemical warehouses.

Can it be tested? If an individual is suspected of Dipping, they can be tested for it. If the cigarette is composed of marijuana, any standard drug screen designed to detect marijuana will show a positive result. If the cigarette is laced with PCP or embalming fluid, a standard drug test with the capacity to test for PCP will show a positive result.


How can we help? STAT Testing offers a variety of affordable testing options that can detect designer drugs. Our lab offers a accurate urinalysis that can detect the opiates in Purple Drank, marijuana and marijuana metabolites in a marijuana tincture, and the marijuana and PCP that is found in Dipping. We are also one of the few testing labs, prepared to test for K2 Spice and Bath Salts. Our lab also offers hair testing that has the ability to detect possible uses of Purple Drank, Marijuana tinctures, and Dipping.