So much is going on! So much to share! The Synthetic Tsunami was an absolute wealth of information yet as Donna, the beautiful nurse from PeaceHealth Southwest who attended, stated “it is frightening that so many drugs” made in Super Labs in China with no restrictions – “are being made available to our kids.”
The biggest point that Eric Martin made was we need to act now! We need to write to our legislatures and make the fact that there are no restrictions on making them available a priority! Eric Martin shared there currently are synthetic marijuana, synthetic cocaine and synthetic heroin readily available via internet and head shops. Synthetic Marijuana does not show up on an average urine analysis hence its appeal. Bert Toivola, Ph.D. and Mick Looney of Sterling Labs presented what they are doing to develop U.A.s that screen for synthetic drugs. As Dr. Toivola stated that although it is job security for laboratories they are always a step behind the super labs. As one chemical becomes illegal the super labs are already working on a different variation to replace it. The other drawback for consumers such as treatment facilities and hospitals is the cost of a urine analysis skyrockets as more of these synthetic drugs are added to drug screens.
Other names for synthetic marijuana are SPICE, K2, JWH 018 titled after the John W. Huffman who discovered it. Spice is unlike what our grandma had in her cupboards. Synthetic Marijuana is sold in small tea bag like package and say “Not For Human Consumption” right on the package (this label makes it possible to sell) and is sold as an incense.
Synthetic Marijuana is smoked like weed. It is said to have the same effects as weed. The problem is that people who have a mental health history are at high risk for psychotic episodes. And the long term affects for using synthetic drugs are not yet known. Another synthetic drug commonly used is “bath crystals” that acts as a stimulant similar to cocaine. Chemicals used in synthetic drugs have been linked to psychotic episodes, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and suicide completion.
There is also a synthetic heroin “Krokodil” that has become an epidemic in Russia – this is a flesh eating chemical that is horrific in every way. The visuals Eric shared were visceral. It is horrifying where the need to be in an altered mind status can lead us.
Add to this scenario a young developing brain and we have a community in trouble. My heart breaks open, tears fill my eyes as I share this with you. And at the same time a desire to do something now overcomes me!!! We must get involved!!! I plan to find out who my legislature is – Grace On Me for not knowing this!!! Develop a form letter – perhaps Eric may already have one! And send it out – I will post it here on Grace On You to be shared with all who would like to join me and care to make a difference!
ERIC DID HAVE GREAT NEWS – THE STATE OF WASHINGTON HAS DROPPED OFF THE TOP 10 STATES FOR “PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL AND DRUGS?” The question came up – what is Washington doing to improve their standing!!! Credentialing and the pill mill closing were among ideas mentioned. Although I didn’t think about it at the time but one possibility is the WASBIRT study that had Chemical Dependency Counselors at hospitals throughout the state! Patients who participated did report drinking or using less at a 6 month follow-up phone call!!!
A special thank you goes out to Donna and her wonderful friend, who is also a nurse, I am so sorry I do not recall her name. Stacy the social worker, Christopher the paramedic and Tiffany who works with youth!!! That you all came to get informed was an absolute blessing! And Delena who was not able to come because she had to work – Thank you so much for caring about our community! I will stop by and drop off the hand outs!!! Chemical Dependency Consortium of the North West Rocks!!!
Grace On You Everyone!!!