Author: Justin Mckibben
Synthetic drugs are nothing new, and as they continue to rise in popularity due to easy accessibility and being falsely marketed as ‘safe’ alternatives to other illegal drugs like marijuana and LSD, they also have a tendency to elude authorities due to chemicals that are not easily detected in standard drug screenings. They often even change their chemicals in the slightest to slip through loop holes in the law, and one of those synthetics dubbed ‘N-Bomb’ has proven over the last few years to be a deadly mix.
Keeping a Body Count
The infamous ‘N-Bomb’ was originally noticed back in 2010, and even since then researchers from the DEA have credited the chemical with catastrophic consequences, implicating the substance in at least 19 deaths in the United States between March of 2012 and November of 2014. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declared N-Bomb a Schedule I substance back in November of last year, and still take note of its presence and its danger.
The United National Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that originally the NBOMe’s were developed for the specific medical purpose to map serotonin receptors in the brain. Now these chemicals are one of the most recurrently abused designer psychoactive substances.
Dr. Donna Seger, professor of clinical medicine and medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center, said in a statement.
“This is a dangerous drug, it is potentially deadly, and parents, law enforcement, first responders, and physicians need to be aware of its existence and its effects. The recreational use of synthetic (designer) psychoactive substances with stimulant, euphoric, and/or hallucinogenic properties has risen dramatically in recent years.”
While it is frequently called N-Bomb on the street, it is commonly marketed as “legal” or “natural” LSD. The drug is actually sold over the counter because the makers are constantly changing the formula to throw off police. While is has been connected with abuse since 2010, is a relatively new synthetic drug from the NBOMe class of psychedelic substances.
Drug Details and Poisoning Symptoms
N-Bomb is sold in a very similar fashion as actual LSD one the street. It can be found in forms such as:
- Blotter paper
Patients suffering from poisoning related to N-Bomb often display a lot of aggression and violence, and so when being treated they often require heavy sedation to calm them as well as external cooling measures to treat hyperthermia, or overheating of the body. In reality the extent of treating anyone who has had to be hospitalized for synthetic drug use is managing agitation and preventing organ damage.
According to Dr. Seger, the complete lack of quality control on these kinds of street drugs and the odds of misjudging a dose for a user can easily lead to poisoning from the substance. Seger also went on to list some of the symptoms of toxicity such as:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Dilated pupils
- Aggressive behavior
- Renal failure or coma
Fighting the Synthetic Epidemic
Authorities have been cracking down on the sale and trafficking of more traditional recreational substances, such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine. The prescription drug problem and opiate epidemic has seemingly led to a larger demand for synthetic drugs in some areas. However with the entire perception of the war on drugs shifting, there is some action being taken to address the synthetic drug issue.
May 2014 the DEA announced that it would begin cracking down on synthetic drugs in 25 states. This new found motivation to face the problem head on came up due to particular health problems believed to be a direct cause of the revolving door of ingredients used in the production of synthetic as a way for makers to avoid penalty of law.
Need another reason to hate N-Bomb and other synthetic drug products? Well just in case, another reason the DEA found its inspiration for initiative was reports that revenue from synthetic drug sales and trafficking often end up in the pockets of terrorist and criminal organizations in the Middle East. That is no pocket-change either, because authorities have made over 120 arrests, served around 200 warrants, and seized upward of $20 million in cash over the course of the synthetic drug crackdown. N-Bomb is just one of countless names of substances that are made by mysterious sources for unsavory circumstances that are killing Americans, and their primary consumers are teens and young adults, and it only takes one dose to be a lethal one.
Synthetic drug abuse is not nearly as safe as the marketers and makers would want you to believe, and the true side-effects may be far more hazardous than you ever expected. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
Public support for the use of psychedelic drugs in a therapeutic setting is rapidly growing, as we’ve already reported. Cases such as the use of LSD to treat depression and possibly addiction are indications of that. MDMA has been used to treat PTSD. There’s ayahuasca-assisted therapy to treat drug addiction. LSD for cluster headaches and psilocybin for nicotine addiction.
Well, the latest news on the alternative medicine front has to do with the therapeutic use of MDMA – the pure form of the club drug Ecstasy – for use in treating specific situations involving a psychological disorder. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has just approved the first clinical trial using MDMA in psychotherapy sessions in order to treat anxiety in people who are also suffering with life-threatening illnesses, researchers told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.
So, as it stands, MDMA is not being used to treat anxiety, alone; rather anxiety in people who are already sick.
The DEA approved the project on Friday, says Brad Burge, the communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He added, “The tide has changed for psychedelic research.” MAPS is a California-based nonprofit research group that is sponsoring the study. Researchers at MAPS study medicinal uses for psychedelics as well as marijuana.
On the MAPS website, the distinction between Ecstasy or Molly, which are street names for MDMA, and actual, pure MDMA. The stuff sold on the street and in clubs is often “cut” with other drugs and chemicals so as to bolster profits for dealers, putting the user unknowingly at risk. But, the MAPS website says, pure MDMA has been proven “sufficiently safe” when taken a limited number of times in moderate doses.
First Clinical Trial for MDMA Use in Therapy
Unlike psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin, MDMA does not produce hallucinations, which is some people may find disturbing. Rather, MDMA can be induces feelings of calm, trust and confidence, all of which can be extremely useful for people suffering from anxiety due to life-threatening illnesses, when used in combination with psychotherapy.
The clinical trial will be held in Marin, California, and has purposely been designed to take place in a psychologist’s office, instead of a hospital setting, Burge said. The patients will lie on a couch with a therapist nearby who will lend support and facilitate conversation.
The trial will consist of 18 subjects who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and who suffer from anxiety as a result. The participants will attend psychotherapy sessions over the course of several months, with MDMA being incorporated in only some of those sessions, in order to facilitate the process, Burge said. The outcome will be measured at the end of the sessions by the patient’s self-reporting and the therapist’s assessments regarding whether using the drug helped to reduce people’s anxiety.
Of MDMA, Burge said, “It opens [patients] up and makes them more comfortable with the therapist while reducing fear and making them more able to talk about difficult emotions.”
If this pilot clinical trial is a success, MAPS has plans to continue the research with larger studies that involve more participants as well as different approaches. For now, though, the goal of the researchers is to establish basic safety and effectiveness.
The trial is part of a larger $20 million plan to make MDMA an FDA-approved prescription medicine by 2021, Burge said. MAPS is the only organization in the world funding MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials, he added.
Changing the Stigma
Researchers hope to add to and bolster already-existing (and growing) evidence that psychedelics have legitimate therapeutic uses — as well as to challenge the stigma that has demonized them as harsh drugs that destroy the mind.
“That’s what the really good science shows, despite decades of propaganda and government misinformation,” Burge said. “Just a couple weeks ago, a phenomenal study showed that there are no long-term associations between psychedelic use and mental illnesses.”
That study was published this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. In addition, a recent report by Johns Hopkins Medicine showed that the use of psychedelic drugs, specifically psilocybin and LSD, could reduce psychological distress and suicidal thinking.
Addiction and mental illness are often co-occurring conditions in substance use disorder cases. Luckily, there are specially-equipped, intentionally-designed treatment programs that offer dual diagnosis treatment and therapy. These programs, such as the one here at Palm Partners, are adept at treating all conditions simultaneously so that healing can start and the recovery process can be begun. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 today.
By Cheryl Steinberg
You may or may not be aware of this but, some of the highly-illegal drugs today were once used in virtually any kind of cough drop, tincture, or formula to treat anything from cough to nausea to insomnia. And many of these medical preparations that included drugs like heroin and cocaine we even available over-the-counter!
Nowadays, there are much stricter regulations on what have been found to be illicit drugs, as well as other drugs that are prescribed for our ailments.
But, there are some surprising ways in which illicit drugs are being used today. Here are 5 illegal drugs that will cure you…
#1. Cocaine for wound care
First, cocaine is an effective local anesthetic and, once applied, it numbs the area very quickly, usually in less than two minutes. Secondly, cocaine is effective at stopping the bleeding; it’s a vasoconstrictor, which is a drug that constricts – or narrows – the blood vessels. The smaller a blood vessel gets, the bleeding occurs.
Even many pediatricians recommend using cocaine on children’s wounds because of cocaine’s properties that make it a valuable tool for treating cuts and lacerations.
#2. LSD for Alcoholism
Studies show that your chances of staying away from alcohol will be dramatically increased after tripping on acid. There was an extensive study done in the 1960s and ’70s that revealed how recovering alcoholics are much less likely to drink to excess and how some even stopped drinking altogether for several months.
The reason why this works could be due to the LSD helping the participants to feel more confident, happy and satisfied with their lives, which, in turn, decreased the feelings they had that led most of them to abuse alcohol in the first place. The alcohol-abstaining effects from the one LSD trip lasted for about six months, at which point, if LSD were legal, the patients would be able to return to a treatment clinic for another dose, repeating the process until they were able to transition into sobriety.
#3. Heroin for women in labor
Heroin is an opiate, in the same class of drugs as painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine. However, heroin itself is actually much more effective than morphine and takes effect in about two or three minutes. In fact, The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain recommends giving it to people in extreme pain, people in surgery, and women in labor.
Now, just to be clear, the NHS is, in fact, made up of medical professionals. The practice in Britain is to give women in labor an injection of heroin to help with the contractions as they give birth. The one-time use doesn’t do any damage and doesn’t cause dependency, because it is only administered when the baby is on its way out of its mother’s body.
#4. MDMA for PTSD
MDMA, or Ecstasy, has been shown to help treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The reason for this is actually the same reason that the drug is popular for recreational use: It releases large amounts of the feel-good chemicals serotonin and oxytocin in your brain, which makes you relaxed, euphoric, and feel at ease. This results in relieving the stress experienced by PTSD sufferers.
When used in a therapeutic setting, MDMA allows PTSD patients to relive their experiences more easily, which is crucial to overcoming the disorder. Ecstasy lets the sufferers do so without being overwhelmed, by activating the area of the brain responsible for controlling fear and stress. Over time, this results in long-term reduction of fear.
#5. Methamphetamine for ADHD and obesity
Desoxyn, the purest form of meth, is prescribed to obese people for quick short-term weight loss. It’s only prescribed as a short-term treatment for obvious reasons, since meth is highly addictive as well as overall catastrophic to your well-being. Meth is rarely prescribed in this way and only when all other treatments fail.
Desoxyn is also prescribed by U.S. doctors to treat ADHD. Considering that sufferers of ADHD typically exhibit symptoms of jitteriness and inattentiveness, which are also associated with meth use, it nevertheless has a therapeutic effect on people with ADHD. When it comes to the brain, nothing is simple, and meth. Like other stimulants, helps regulate brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Drugs and dosage are carefully controlled by your medical providers who can monitor the results and adjust your medication accordingly by a medical professional who can monitor the results. In general, you shouldn’t self-medicate any medical problem with alcohol or illicit drugs and you should only take medications as prescribed. If you are struggling with substance abuse and or a psychological disorder, such as PTSD, ADHD, or depression, Palm Partners is here for you. We offer dual diagnosis treatment for people who are ready to end the cycle of drug abuse. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
By Cheryl Steinberg
When it comes to progressive, proactive methods of treating illnesses, ahead of the curve, as usual, is a European country. British scientists hope to study LSD and other psychedelic drugs to see if they could be viable treatment options in battling depression and addiction issues.
“These drugs offer the greatest opportunity we have in mental health. There’s little early on the horizon,” Dr. David Nutt, an Imperial College London professor, said at a briefing, according to British reports.
You may recall Dr. Nutt’s name – we’ve written about him before. Dr. Nutt is a somewhat infamous, mad scientist in some people’s eyes, at least, in his home country of the UK. It was Nutt who, as the UK’s government chief drugs adviser, was fired from his official post when he conducted a study and stood by his findings, which were in direct contrast with the general consensus regarding alcohol and its acceptability.
You see, Dr. Nutt found that alcohol was the worst drug – even more so than heroin and even crack, and that hallucinogens, and especially cannabis are the drugs that should cause us the least concern.
He has called the tight restrictions on studying recreational drugs’ potential benefits “the worst censorship in the history of science.”
This is something we’re seeing with the medical marijuana debate here in the U.S. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that, in the eyes of the federal government, it has no recognized medical benefits. Also, a Schedule I classification means that conducting studies on the possible medicinal value of marijuana is next to impossible.
Similarly, according to the British doctors involved, funding for their controversial research is hard to come by; and they’ve turned to crowdfunding in order to raise money so that they can carry out their studies into psychoactive drugs as potential drug therapy.
Treating Depression, Addiction with LSD
Dr. Nutt has turned his gaze toward LSD as of late in order to see if/how the hallucinogen could treat psychological disorders. Nutt conducted a study in which he had 20 healthy volunteers, 15 men and five women, take a “moderate” dose of LSD – about 75 micrograms – so that scientists would use MRIs of the subjects’ brains to study their brain activity.
The dosage had “quite profound effects” on brain activity, mood and mental state.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s a dangerous experiment but I would say that LSD has potential negative effects. It’s not uncommon for people to have anxiety during a psychedelic drug experience. The experience can be nightmarish at times,” Robin Carhart-Harris, also from Imperial College, conceded to British outlets.
However, although 3 of the participants said they experienced anxiety and paranoia during the experiment, none of the participants reported having a “bad trip.”
The researchers suspect that this can, in fact, be a good thing: “What’s especially intriguing…is that people can have a very challenging experience yet afterwards they seem to be somehow psychologically refreshed by the experience. That’s how they describe it,” Carhart-Harris said.
“Understanding more about the physiological effects of LSD will help us shed light on potential medical interventions as well as help us learn more about consciousness,” the researchers write on their website.
“By researching how psychedelics work, we will be a step closer to understanding how specific areas of the brain are affected to induce certain psychological effects,” they explain.
Psilocybin – the key ingredient in magic mushrooms – has already been studied and it is believed that the drug plays a key role in an area of the brain that is associated with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and Alzheimer’s.
“It is difficult to find funding for psychedelic research as the subject is surrounded by taboo, but we hope that there are many of you who will be excited to provide funding,” the researches have said.
Furthermore, new research this week has even suggested that psychedelics, like LSD and mushrooms, don’t increase risk of developing mental health issues. The findings, published in the journal Nature, cautioned that alcohol could be worse.
“Drug experts consistently rank LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as much less harmful to the individual user and to society compared to alcohol and other controlled substances,” the researchers said.
“Many people report deeply meaningful experiences and lasting beneficial effects from using psychedelics,” they said in a statement.
People who struggle with substance abuse also commonly suffer from one or more psychological disorder, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD. It’s important to treat all issues thoroughly yet at the same time as there is overlapping between the conditions. Dual diagnosis drug treatment is designed to help get people back on track with therapy and medication – if needed – and without the crutch of ongoing alcohol and other drug abuse.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Did you ever wonder what kind of mischief the dinosaurs of the world far before our time ever got themselves into? What kind of lives they lived and what we could compare to the way our world is now besides them basically being giant monsters that ruled the world? Well apparently there ain’t no party like a prehistoric party, and dinosaurs were doing drugs way before humans were even a thing.
A new discovery has indicated that psychedelic fungi are as old as the dinosaurs, and this particular brand of plant was probably included as part of the dinosaurs diet. This strange new revelation comes hand in hand with surprising new evidence suggesting that grasses are more ancient than previously thought, and may have co-evolved with dinosaurs.
Plotting Time with Plants
The vegetation being referred to as Grasses (Poaceae) are such a dominant and apparently simple feature of the planet that it’s easy to imagine that they are as old as life on land, but up until this recent correlation all evidence for the origin of Grasses was a rarity.
Fossil records indicate that the great grasslands are a commonplace on earth today have only developed relatively recently, after the development of C4 photosynthesis gave plants a huge evolutionary advantage. Of course this is far before our time, but in the timeline of a planet that separates species that have dominated it that is but a hiccup of time.
Then in 2005 distinctive grass features were found in dinosaur droppings. Then more surprising revelation came with the discovery of a grass floret trapped inside a 12 millimeter piece of amber from Myanmar that was dated to 97-110 million years ago. This particular find came with an implication to a story even more likely to make waves, or at least end up trending a little more on social media: Palaeoclaviceps parasiticus, an extinct fungus related to ergot.
So what is so special about that fungus? Well the group of fungi species known as Ergot produces the molecule ergotamine. Still a little lost? Me too, never did know much about botany. That molecule is closely related in structure and effects to lysergic acid, whose amide is… guess who… LSD!
While this doesn’t mean that dinosaurs were wearing tie-dye or staring at the clouds all day listening to the Beetles, at the very least this discovery proves that Ergot dates back well into the dinosaur’s era, whether they hallucinated or not. So this does not prove dinosaurs were affected by its famous derivative, or that they even ate it. But the previous discovery that dinosaurs were eating the grasses and passing them through their system makes it very likely that some were getting a dosing themselves with lysergic acid. The man who inspired Jurassic Park, Emeritus Professor George Poinar of Oregon State University, has stated,
“It seems like ergot has been involved with animals and humans almost forever, and now we know that this fungus literally dates back to the earliest evolution of grasses.”
“But it also shows that this parasitic fungus may have been around almost as long as the grasses themselves, as both a toxin and natural hallucinogen.”
Now you might believe a hallucinogenic plant from a few hundred years ago might not have quite the same effects as a drug from a few million years ago, the ergot sample found is very similar to its modern counterpart of LSD, and Professor Poinar went on to say,
“There’s no doubt in my mind that it would have been eaten by sauropod dinosaurs.”
Based on these findings, and the idea that this fungus was definitely (probably) on the menu for dinosaurs back in the day, many now believe that humans have actually evolved alongside the hallucinogen, which is used to produce LSD. Turn down for the Mesozoic era!
Thankfully, here at Palm Partners we do not discriminate against dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptors alike are all welcome.
All jokes aside, drugs have a long history of causing serious harm to those who become trapped by their use. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135