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  • 1. Synthetic Drugs:An Imminent Health ThreatSEMCA Synthetic Drug Forum, June 12, 2012 Mouhanad Hammami, MD Chief of Health Operations Acting Health Officer Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 2. David M Rozga •“Apparently, some college students who were home for the summer told David and two of his friends about a legal substance called K2 that is smoked like marijuana.” •“It could be easily purchased in stores and a few of the guys had purchased some that weekend at a local mall.”Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 3. Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 4. June 6, 2010 • David smoked K2 with friends. • Ninety minutes later, he was dead.Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 5. David’s Story As Told by His Dad •“We are a typical family and as any parent of teenagers knows, these are not easy times to raise a family. We’re far from perfect and thought we had all the conversations families are supposed to have…sex, drugs, drinking, texting while driving, you name it.” •“But, we didn’t talk about what we didn’t know. It is so important that parents talk to their kids about the danger of ingesting anything that isn’t fully known and regulated...legal or not.”Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 6. What is a synthetic cannabinoid • Synthetic cannabinoids are a structurally diverse class of mostly synthetic substances that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain • When ingested creates a similar type of high that naturally occurring cannabinoids (marijuana) produceDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 7. Where Are Cannabinoid Receptors CB1s are among the most abundantly expressed neuronal receptors and are found throughout the brainDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 8. History • In 1995, John W. Huffman, Ph.D used a synthetic compound to conduct research identifying the effects of on cannabinoids on the brain • He synthesized JWH-018 in a laboratory at Clemson University • Following the publication of his paper people began spraying the synthetic chemical compound described in the article on dry herbs and then smoking them as they would regular marijuana • In 2004, The brand "Spice" was released and gained popularity, particularly throughout Europe in 2006Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 9. Today • Sold over the Internet, in smoke and tobacco shops, convenience stores, and head shops. • There are literally hundreds of cannabinoids which have been synthesized and many are available for sale on the internetDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 10. Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 11. Synthetic Cannabinoid Effects • nausea, vomiting • dizziness • drowsiness • panic, hallucinations • agitation, • agitation, • dyspnea, • paranoia • Tachycardia and • anxiety palpitations • suicidal tendencies • headache • hypertensionDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 12. “In 2010, our centers responded to 3,200 calls related to synthetic drugs. In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls. Sixty percent of the cases involved patients 25 and younger.” Deborah Carr, American Association of Poison Control CentersDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 13. Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 14. Synthetic CathinonesDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 15. “When Neil Brown got high on bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly. Brown survived, but authorities say others havent been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking powders with such innocuous-sounding names as Ivory Snow, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.” The Washington Post. Web January 23, 2011Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 16. Bath Salts • AKA: Bath Salts, Ivory Wave, Cloud Nine, Bliss, Tranquility, Blue Silk, Blizzard, Ocean Burst, Vanilla Sky, etc. • NOT real bath salts! They are referred to as novelty items, and are labeled “not for human consumption” to evade scrutiny. • Also marketed as bath crystals, plant food, and herbal incense. • 2nd generation of bath saltsDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 17. Bath Salts • White, tan or brown odorless, powdery substance. • Compounds are central nervous stimulants. • Effects are similar to cocaine or methamphetamine. • Sometimes called “fake” cocaine or “fake” meth. • Can be snorted, injected, or eaten.Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 18. Bath Salts • MDPV and mephedrone can cause intense cravings and can lead to binges lasting several days. • Sold at tobacco shops, convenience stores, gas stations, head shops, and truck stops among others; and via the Internet. • The various brands are sold in 50-milligram to 500- milligram packets. Prices range from $25 to $50 or more per 50-milligram packet. • MDPV and mephedrone are currently Schedule I Controlled SubstancesDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 19. “The Chinese laboratories where scientists are already at work on the new ‘meow meow.’” Mail Online (Newspaper in the UK) Mike Power & Simon Parry. 10-19-11Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 20. Physical Effects • Racing heartbeat • Extreme elevations of blood pressure • Sleeplessness • Loss of appetite, Nausea • Strange eye movements • AgitationDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 21. Psychological Effects • Varying but often extreme paranoia • Abusers running naked with knives trying to “cut out wires that are in their bodies” • Shooting themselves, others or inanimate objects/walls • Delusions, Hallucinations • Suicidal Tendencies • Extreme agitation or anxiety, change in personality, depression, aggression or disturbed behavior, hostility, violenceDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 22. Imminent Threat • Developed for research purposes and have not been approved by the FDA for human consumption • Until a drug is tested, it cannot be considered safe. • Being legally sold as a legal alternative to drugs. • Some of these chemicals are reported to be 66- 800 times more potent than THC (Hot Spots)Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 23. “It is like Russian roulette to use these drugs. We don’t know a darn thing about them for real.” John W. Huffman, Ph.D.Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 24. What Wayne County is doing • Health advisory was sent to all Wayne County health care providers • Health Emergency Imminent Danger Order • Drug Overdose Surveillance Task Force • Public Awareness Campaign • 24 Hour Hotline - 734-727-7163Department of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 25. Actions You Can Take • Parents – Talk to your kids • Report suspicious activity to law enforcement • Legislatures – Complete ban on point of purchase/ internet • Police Officers – submit products to lab for testingDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN
  • 26. “When K2 is gone, something else – maybe even more dangerous – will be waiting to take its place so it is vital we talk to our kids.” David Rozga’s FatherDepartment of Health and Human Services W A Y N E C O U N T Y, MICHIGAN