Gravel, Flakka, or Alpha-PVP. Designer Drugs in a Post-Bath Salts World.

tumblr_n4yoxn48IO1rtpfpio1_400alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (Alpha-PVP for the rest of us) is a stimulant and also one of the first 2nd generation bath salts. Take a minute to understand what that signifies. We’re creating new psychedelic substances (NPS) so fast that we’re getting refinements on substances that haven’t been popular for 5 years. The original bath salt MDPV developed a reputation for turning people into those face-eating zombies from 28 Days Later, so people started looking for something that had all the energy, but a little less cannibalism. They found Alpha-PVP. Unfortunately for at least a couple of people so far, it killed them. If this drug sounds familiar at all, it’s because the kid who died at Ultra last year took it. The drug can be smoked, snorted, left under your tongue to absorb, vaporized, added to joints & injected. There are terrifying side-effects including seizures, paranoia, PCP-style hulk outs & death by heart attack. In animal tests, the drug created similar activity to straight amphetamines when it came to how stimulated the rats were. But the weird, messed up part is that, at high doses, the rats displayed erratic, hyperactive & bizarre behavior. Which lines up with the stories we’ve seen about violent behavior & crazy cardiovascular distress. Additionally, reports of Gravel, or Alpha-PVP+ stuff have come in. This is a serious escalation that we all need to be aware of. Sometimes Alpha-PVP is mixed with methamphetamines or Klonopin. The idea that you’d be taking a drug that produces, and I quote “impressive degrees of paranoia” mixed with meth? No wonder these people are going on rampages & breaking crap with drug strength. Because this entire spectrum of aPVP containing options exist as “not for human consumption” bath salts, you can get it anywhere in the USA, UK & Australia. Another example of the lengths people will go to get high/stay productive in an ever changing world. If you look at the trip reports on Erowid (linked above), you’ll see a consistent feature, common to most American stimulant usage. It’s done for the sake of productivity, not to get “fucked up.” People are working harder & longer, doing less fulfilling stuff, so they’re frequently turning to prescription or over the counter stims. If I can’t get adderall & I feel like I need something, and my friend tells me about this shit that works great and I can buy at a gas station? I’m in. And that’s how we got here. Not only is the drug war making more dangerous drugs propagate because people can’t buy the things they actually want, it’s creating these drugs faster than ever before. CaptureI need to stress one last point that was gotten to me by the NY DanceSafe chapter leader. Currently, we can’t test for this stuff. Even though the test kits that you can get from DanceSafe & other places do test for cathinones (the family/class of drugs “bath salts” is in), Alpha-PVP doesn’t react to the test. This is super important information to get out to your people, especially because of the wacky side-effects aPVP has. To learn more, join me, Ravelrie, NY DanceSafe & Stay Safe Seattle at 4:30 EST, 1:30 PST on Twitter using #alphapvp!

2CI, For Many, A Better Class Of Criminal.

I alluded to something that I wanted to explore a little more this week. The idea that research chemicals are being done because the drugs people “want” to be doing aren’t available. This idea is not new. The drug that we’re speaking about on Drug Fact Friday (Get at us on Twitter using #2CFrIday today at 4:30 PM EST, 1:30 PM if you’re blessed to live over there) is 2C-I. To note, this is not the 2c–NBOMe drug that we talked about last week. We’re not high, this is actually a drug that was made illegal in 2012. That’s 5 minutes ago in the grand scheme of things. This is the reason why.

When drugs become harder to find, people don’t stop doing drugs, they simply seek analogues. “Analogues,” are essentially drugs that have similar arrays of effects, while not being the same specific chemical. For example, some people would do amphetamines if they couldn’t find cocaine, while others would seek mushrooms if they couldn’t get acid or whatever. This stuff hasn’t been researched, but if you hang around users enough, these patterns become apparent. People seek a certain assortment of physical/mental/emotional symptoms, and repeat their experience until they get it. When they can’t get it, they go looking. People who couldn’t get classical hallucinogens in the 00’s turned to 2C-I and a couple of other research chemicals. The substances were still legal to synthesize, so it was a simple matter of ordering them online and blocking off a Saturday to be a human guinea pig. Again, I want to stress, these are chemicals large volumes of people just haven’t done. We’ve not seen any real terrifying effects, but to note, we don’t have good data (again). Duration of trip ranges from 4-18 hours. I want to repeat that. Different people taking the same dose, have trips that vary in length by a factor of 4. You got anything to do on Monday?

I’m being glib of course, but I want to remind people of a concern that comes up when people decide to experiment. It was used primarily when you couldn’t find LSD or mushrooms, and that reinforces my point from last week. Making drugs illegal forces people to make more risky decisions in search of the same experience. This in turn leads to medical spending and a general bad time if things don’t go swimmingly. Seems unnecessary to me. There are plenty of reports about the substance online at Erowid and if you want to read the notes of the inventor, here is the reference from Pihkal.