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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Congress Adds 28 Synthetics / K2 & Spice




  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today commended House and Senate negotiators for agreeing on legislation to control 26 synthetic drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.  These drugs include those commonly found in products marketed as “K2” and “Spice.”

The addition of these chemicals to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act will be included as part of S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Schedule I substances are those with a high potential for abuse; have no medical use in treatment in the United States; and lack an accepted safety for use of the drug.

In addition to scheduling the 26 drugs, the new law would double the length of time a substance may be temporarily placed in schedule I (from 18 to 36 months).  In addition to explicitly naming 26 substances, the legislation creates a new definition for “cannabamimetic agents,” creating criteria by which similar chemical compounds are controlled.

 In recent years, a growing number of dangerous products have been introduced into the U.S. marketplace.  Products labeled as “herbal incense” have become especially popular, especially among teens and young adults.  These products consist of plant material laced with synthetic cannabinoids which, when smoked, mimic the delirious effects of THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.  According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, more than 100 such substances have been synthesized and identified to date.  DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority to place in schedule I several of these harmful chemicals.

Newly developed drugs, particularly from the “2C family” (dimethoxyphenethylamines), are generally referred to as synthetic psychedelic/hallucinogens. 2C-E caused the recent death of a 19 year-old in Minnesota.

The substances added to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act also include 9 different 2C chemicals, and 15 different synthetic cannabanoids.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that they received 6,959 calls related to synthetic marijuana in 2011, up from 2,906 in 2010. 


Posted By: STS  First @ 3:28:58 PM


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Diazepam and other Benzos (diazepines) take the brakes off of dopamine-producing neurons

Like opioids and cannabinoids, diazepam and other benzodiazepines take the brakes off of dopamine-producing neurons. April 2012 By NIDA Notes Staff       

Since their introduction in the 1960s, drugs categorized as benzodiazepines, which include diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax), have been widely prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. Although they are highly effective for their intended uses, these medications must be prescribed with caution because they can be addictive. Now, work by NIDA-funded researchers has established that benzodiazepines cause addiction in a way similar to that of opioids, cannabinoids, and the club drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). The discovery opens the door to designing new benzodiazepines that counteract anxiety but are not addictive.

Dr. Christian Lüscher and colleagues at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, studied benzodiazepines as part of a larger project to identify the point of convergence for all neurobiological pathways to drug addiction. Their findings strongly suggest that this juncture occurs when dopamine surges in response to drug taking initiate a change in synaptic plasticity in dopamine-producing cells.

Posted By: STS  First @ 8:37:17 AM


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Friday, May 18, 2012

RailRoad Admin Proposes New Drug

The Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, published in the Federal Register May 17, 2012, a Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

The NPRM is proposing additional toxicological testing for non-controlled substances to be tested for post-accident tests.

The substances the FRA routinely conducts for post-accident tests are marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), and certain opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. They are proposing adding two types of non-controlled substances which are tramadol (a synthetic opiod) and sedating antihistamines.

Comments must be submitted on or before July 16, 2012.

Posted By: STS  First @ 9:43:12 AM


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Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Type of "bath salts" /AMPED Used In VA.

A new type of “bath salts” called “Amped” is being used in Virginia, poison control officials there report. The drug, sold as a ladybug attractant, is likely also being used in other parts of the country, according to ABC News.

Dr. Rutherford Rose, Director of the Virginia Poison Center, said at least six cases of people ingesting Amped have been reported in the state.

Amped and other bath salts have amphetamine-like qualities. Common effects are teeth grinding, jerking eye movements, profuse sweating, high blood pressure, high body temperature, fast heart rate, anorexia, diminished thirst, paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, significant violent outbursts, self-injurious behaviors and suicidal thoughts and acts. Deaths have been reported as the direct result of the abuse of these drugs.

“Despite laws that have outlawed certain chemicals within these drugs, chemists easily change a chemical or molecule within the compound to give it a similar or more potent property, and, because it is a different chemical entity, it is no longer illegal,” Dr. Rose said. “These drugs are a time bomb. It’s like playing Russian Roulette.”

The drugs carry labels warning against human consumption. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that in 2011, there were 6,138 calls regarding bath salts, up from 304 in 2010. As of March 31, poison control centers received 722 calls about bath salts so far this year.

Posted By: STS  First @ 9:31:50 AM


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Saturday, May 5, 2012

LAX Screeners Arrested on Drug Smuggling

TSA Screeners at LAX
Arrested on Federal Drug Trafficking

Corruption Charges


On April 25 two former and two current Transportation Security Administration screeners at Los Angeles International Airport were arrested on federal narcotics trafficking and bribery charges for allegedly taking cash payments to allow large shipments of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana to pass through x-ray machines at TSA security checkpoints. Authorities are continuing to search for one alleged drug courier named in the 22-count grand jury indictment.


The indictment outlines five specific incidents that occurred between February and July 2011. In one incident, two defendants allegedly agreed that a drug courier would bring about five kilograms of cocaine through a security checkpoint that was being staffed by a defendant; however when the courier failed to follow the screener’s instructions, TSA officials uninvolved in the scheme seized the courier’s bag, which was filled with cocaine.

Posted By: STS  First @ 1:23:26 PM


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Heroin Proceeds Support Taliban

Haji Bagcho, One of World’s Largest Heroin Traffickers,
Proceeds Used to Support Taliban—May Have Accounted for 20 Percent of World’s Heroin Production, Over 123,000 Kilograms, in 2006

March 13 (Washington) – An Afghan national with ties to the Taliban was convicted today by a jury in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia of conspiracy, distribution of heroin for importation into the United States and narco-terrorism, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Administrator Michele M. Leonhart of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Haji Bagcho, from Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, was investigated by the DEA for narcotics offenses. The investigation revealed that Bagcho was one of the largest heroin traffickers in the world and manufactured the drug in clandestine laboratories along Afghanistan’s border region with Pakistan. Bagcho sent heroin to more than 20 countries, including the United States. Proceeds from his heroin trafficking were then used to support high-level members of the Taliban to further their insurgency in Afghanistan.

Beginning in 2005 and continuing for the next five years, the DEA, in cooperation with Afghan authorities, conducted an investigation of Bagcho’s organization. With the help of cooperating witnesses, the DEA purchased heroin directly from the organization on two occasions, which Bagcho understood was destined for the United States. They also conducted several searches of residences belonging to Bagcho and his associates, recovering evidence consistent with drug trafficking.

During one search, ledgers belonging to the defendant were found. One ledger, cataloguing Bagcho’s activities during 2006, reflected heroin transactions of more than 123,000 kilograms, worth more than $250 million, according to Bagcho’s ledger. Based on heroin production statistics compiled by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime for 2006, the defendant’s trafficking accounted for approximately 20 percent of the world’s total production for that year.

The investigation also obtained evidence that over several years, Bagcho used a portion of his drug proceeds to provide the former Taliban governor of Nangarhar Province and two Taliban commanders responsible for insurgent activity in eastern Afghanistan with cash, weapons and other supplies so that they could continue their “jihad” against western troops and the Afghan government.

“One of the world’s most prolific drug traffickers reign has come to an end,” said DEA Administrator Leonhart. “Now Haji Bagcho will serve time behind bars on the same soil he sought to destroy with his drugs, and whose troops he sought to kill through his support to the Taliban. DEA stands committed to stopping narco-traffickers like Bagcho and their funding of terror.”

“Haji Bagcho was a prolific and dangerous heroin manufacturer, trafficking in over 123,000 kilograms of the drug in 2006 alone,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Moreover, he used proceeds from his crimes to fund Taliban insurgents and fuel their ongoing ‘jihad’ against the United States and others. The effects of Bagcho’s criminal activity were felt all over the world, and today’s guilty verdict ensures that he will serve a lengthy prison term.”

Posted By: STS  First @ 2:20:49 PM


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

NPRM - Spice/K2 Headed Toward Schedule 1

NPRM - Spice/K2 Headed Toward Schedule 1

 The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final order yesterday, Wednesday, February 29, 2012 to extend the temporary scheduling of the five synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule 1 drugs of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA):

("1-pentyl-3- (1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH018), 1-butyl- 3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH073), 1-[2- (4-morpholinyl)ethyl]-3-(1- naphthoyl)indole (JWH200), 5-(1,1- dimethylheptyl)-2-(3- hydroxycyclohexyl)-phenol (CP 47,497), and 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-(3- hydroxycyclohexyl)-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol, CP47,497 C8 homologue) including their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible")

The temporary scheduling of these synthetic cannabinoids was due to expire on the 29th of February and has been extended through August 29th of this year or until rulemaking proceedings are completed, whichever occurs first.

Please click here to see this order or copy and paste the following link into your web browser:

The DEA followed-up yesterday's order with a proposed rule in today's Federal Register. This proposed rule will permanently classify the five synthetic cannabinoids as Schedule 1 drugs. The DEA is now accepting written and electronic comments on this proposal through April 30, 2012.

The DEA asks that all comments reference "Docket No. DEA - 345" to ensure proper handling and receipt. Electronic comments can be submitted using the electronic comment form found at the following link:!home

Written comments can be submitted to: The Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/OD, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, VA 22152.

Please click here for the full notice of the proposed rule or copy and paste the following link into your web browser:

Thank you,

Posted By: STS  First @ 11:24:13 AM


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Older Folks Doing Dope

The percentage of American 50- to 59-year-olds who reported having abused illicit or prescription drugs during the past year more than doubled, from 2.7 percent to 6.2 percent, between 2002 and 2009. Not coincidentally, by the end of that period baby boomers—the generation born between 1946 and 1964—had filled out that age cohort. Baby boomers' histories of illicit drug use, and their relatively tolerant attitudes toward it, along with the fact that they now comprise nearly 30 percent of the Nation’s population, have raised the stakes on understanding and responding effectively to drug abuse among older adults.

The social and physical changes that accompany aging may well increase vulnerability to drug-related problems. The loss of loved ones, juggling of multiple roles, and retirement or other alterations in employment and income may cause some older people to use illicit drugs as self-medication for anxiety or depression, especially if they have a history of taking drugs to cope. Slowing metabolism can increase sensitivity to the effects of drugs. Furthermore, the effects of drugs of abuse in older adults may be influenced by age-related health conditions and medications—contingencies that are more problematic when patients hide their drug abuse.

Scientists have much to learn about the intersection of drug abuse, aging, and the neurobiological systems that underlie addiction. Basic animal research will be required to describe the impact of drugs on the changing neurochemical balance in the aging brain and trace the combined impact of addictive substances and aging.

We do know that older adults respond at least as well as younger ones to substance abuse therapies. That is why recognizing drug problems in older patients is critical. Clinicians need to be aware of patterns of drug abuse among older people and alert to the possibility that some physical problems of older adults, for example falls and other accidents, may stem from illicit drug use. Primary care physicians have a key role in screening older people for drug abuse and related issues: Although it is not specifically targeted to the aging population, the NIDAMED toolkit can guide doctors in assessing a patient’s risk of developing an addiction problem, advising patients on the health effects of substance abuse, and, if needed, arranging a referral to specialty care. With this age group, as with every other, the goal is to help people live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

December 2011

NIDA Director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Posted By: STS  First @ 8:57:44 AM


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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spice/K2 - After the 3/1 Ban

Superior Training Solutions

SPICE/K2 - After The 3/1 Ban


This short article is an update to Bulletin Board articles on Synthetics that STS published earlier this year.  It answers three questions:  1. Can Spice still be purchased at the usual places after the DEA ban?  2.  Are the psychoactive ingredients the same as those used prior to the ban?  3.  Have the ingredients been changed so the drug could remain 'legal'?  


The final March 1st DEA ban included five commonly used Spice chemicals: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47 and cannabicyclohexanol. Prior to the ban, many law enforcement personnel were quoted in the news media as saying that, based on what they understood about the drugs used to make Spice, the manufacturers would just change the formula, special order whatever the new ingredient was from China - as usual - and continue to sell it here in the U.S.  


Based on the lab results from our last purchase that appears to be exactly what is happening.  First, it remains easy to purchase Spice at the local curb market and, in fact, vendors seem to have an even larger selection.  Second, the results from our latest Spice 'buy', while testing positive for  two of the banned DEA chemicals - JWH - 018 and 073, also tested positive for JWH - 250 and 81.  These two formulas/drugs were not found in any of our prior samples, and neither of them is on the banned/DEA list. (Although we could not ask, the packets with the banned chemicals may well have been stock left over from pre-DEA ban days.) 


Although all of our purchases have been made in Nashville, TN, and it is clear that new versions/formulas of Spice/K2 are being sold here, it is logical to assume that the same is true nationwide.


There is some positive news about this current drug threat.  Synthetics, including Spice and Bath Salts, are gaining a higher profile in the scientific community.  Dr. Howard Taylor, our training associate of many years and research laboratory connection, reports that a fellow toxicologist has compiled data from samples of synthetics collected from all over the country, including our last 'buy'.  The data will be used in a presentation and workshop at the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) meeting in two weeks in San Francisco. 


Dr. Taylor will report back to us after the SOFT meeting and we will pass that information along to you in our usual email format. You might want to be on the lookout for that in early October.


BATH SALTS UPDATE:  The drug(s) found in our first sample of Bath Salts purchased three months ago are the same as the DEA proposed to ban in the Federal Register last week - add to Schedule 1 around mid-October.  They include Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone.  These are the drugs that users say cause the "cocaine-like" feeling produced when using Bath Salts/Plant Food.


DANGEROUS:   Lay people continue to ask us, and probably you, if these drugs are dangerous.  A recent quote in the New York Times by the director of the Northern New England Poison Center, Karen E. Simone, when asked about using Bath Salts pretty much summed it up:  "Some of these users are not right for a long time afterward.  If you gave me a list of drugs that I wouldn't want to touch, this (Bath Salts/MDPV etc.) would be at the top."   



J. Mac Allen

Superior Training Solutions, Inc


Superior Training Solutions (STS) is the premier provider of online

DOT and DFWP Drug and Alcohol Training programs in the United States.

Posted By: STS  First @ 12:09:54 PM


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Friday, July 1, 2011

Cops Grab Meth Lab in a Trailer


Metro police and the TBI pulled over a truck on Interstate 40 because they had a good idea the people inside were about to cook meth.  As soon as Metro police pulled over the truck at the McCory Lane (Interstate 40) exit, they said they found in the back of the truck an active, cooking meth lab, a hazard for everyone around him.

The driver, Daniel Perry, had just been inside a Bellevue drugstore buying pseudoephedrine. They know, because an undercover officer watched him buy it.

"We were working a joint investigation with the Metro Nashville Police Department, where we were looking at high-volume pseudo sales that we thought were being used for meth amphetamine manufacture," said Dale Armour, the assistant special agent in charge for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

"Well, it's an explosives hazard. We had to have the fire department here before we could take it apart," Armour said.

This was the second meth bust in Davidson County (Nashville area) Thursday using this technique.

Earlier, three people were arrested after one of them bought pseudoephedrine in the Wal Mart on Charlotte Pike, and a second person in the same vehicle bought lithium batteries at the Target. Both sales were witnessed by undercover agents. Not illegal - unless you're caught making meth.

Posted By: STS  First @ 11:46:52 AM


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