Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs

213 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    up all night to get lucky...?

    ...and powders of unknown providence.

    I'd heard that God has amazingly protective pow(d)ers!

    But no one knows their provenance either!

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks,

    A data base likes Ramsey's is vital for the information it holds.
    The thing is, synthetics are NOT like the old school illicit drugs we grew up with. They represent a cultural shift as much as a pharmacological shift, in both the manufacturing and using.
    Most synthetics are manufactured in the third world. Apart from different manufacturing standards, substances like waste chemicals are used because they are cheap and plentiful. Chemicals going into blends are chosen because they are cheap and will 'do the job'.
    This why synthetics are cheap to buy. They are produced cheaply in the third world. They come from the same thinking that puts melamine in milk and ethanol in cocktails (as in the cases in Bali, which probably only came to our attention because westerners got hurt).
    Newsflash: there is a lot of poverty out there and humans - being the ever creative beings we are - find ways around it.
    And synthetics are a producers cash cow dream - no boring manufacturing standards to meet! No come-back from adversely affected customers. No complaints from other countries govts (as with the milk scandal) because its all black market - and yes, no taxes to pay.
    And an ever-increasing market demand from westerners - many of whom are paradoxically -' third world' themselves, because they don't have jobs (and never will), they are locked out of owning both the necessary and pretty things people with money have. Synthetics are the new two-dollar shop.
    Then there are the monied and even wealthy customers who - are habituated users or just like using - want to try the new thing, be in on the trend - want variety - a walk on the wild side - drugs that don't show up in workplace drug tests - drugs that don't involve a trip to the tinny house or old school dealers -
    ...tinny house.. what's that's?

    Substances can be found in synthetics that no western doctor would expect to find in his wildest dreams. The value of a data base like Ramsey's is that it provides an on-going archive of chemicals and effects. His findings highlight the need for such a data base and may provide a way to contribute to it / start building a local database.

    One of the effect of the synthetic LSD my son was using was blisters on the roof of his mouth (where he held it to dissolve). He wouldn't go to the doctors to get them treated. All I could do was wait and see if he got physically ill enough to be admitted to hospital (from damage I couldn't see) - or if he stopped eating & drinking because the blisters had spread down his digestive tract.

    Should our doctors have access to information that allows them to known what is in synthetic blends? I would argue yes.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to debunk,

    Probably contrary to the Act assuring competence and ethical behaviour by registered health professionals ..(can’t recall name of it)..do no harm etc

    Do you mean the hippocratic Oath? The dispensaries could be at places like Methadone clinics or Needle exchanges or Pharmacies. These places could better advise of side effects. Do the synthetics have side effects written on the packaging at all or is it just the name of said product that is supposed to indicate the type of buzz? Are there any forums of users of the synthetics and what they think of them?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    They come from the same thinking that puts melamine in milk and ethanol in cocktails (as in the cases in Bali, which probably only came to our attention because westerners got hurt).

    Ethanol is supposed to be in your cocktails. It's methanol (and presumably other alcohols, though methanol seems to be the most common cause of alcohol-other-than-ethanol related trouble) you don't want and that's caused the trouble in Bali and many other places. And yes, the fact that (pale skinned) Westerners got hurt explains a lot of the Western press coverage, but you don't have to look too hard to find news of tainted fake/cheap/home brew booze causing mass poisonings, often among poorer local consumers.

    But what's with the hating on the Third World? How is this any different to your iPads and other fancy gadgetry? No First World demand, no Third World production. And "waste chemicals" (would you prefer them to be dumped?), "different manufacturing standards" (really? Or First World producers taking advantage of different enforcement regimes?) and whatnot.... Your previous comments have been useful and informative, but this one carries a whiff of the nastier side of Orientalism. I hope I'm misunderstanding you.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • debunk, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    No, I am referring to the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 which covers a much wider range of "practitioners" than doctors.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    though methanol seems to be the most common cause of alcohol-other-than-ethanol related trouble

    Yes, it's usually present in distilled alcohol (because it was present in the original base, whatever that was), and can be separated somewhat by taking the very first small amount of distillate and keeping it separately. The methanol evaporates at a lower temperature. People who home-still call this the "heads". Don't drink the heads! It's meths! I think most of them throw it away, but it could be tempting to keep and easily mistaken for ethyl alcohol.

    But you should also know that this methanol is present in almost all non-distilled alcohol. It's just in a very low concentration. And that's what the toxicity issue around alcohol come down to, concentration. The small amount of methanol in your beer won't do you any harm. But if you drink the first 50ml off your still batch, you'll poison yourself. Similarly, if you distilled 90% pure ethanol, achievable by re-distilling the distillate, maybe even more than once, you'll have something that is only safe to drink if you water it down substantially. And that is how people get poisoned with ethanol.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to BenWilson,

    if you distilled 90% pure ethanol

    Apparently quite common in Norway, or at least that small corner of Norway in which I spent the summer of 2000. And yes, only drunk watered down, though often with cider.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to BenWilson,

    Too late for the edit: Anyway, it was my impression that poisonings from dodgy booze are more often from methanol contamination than excess ethanol.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • debunk, in reply to ,

    Yes Stephen! Aware of that. But also used as a pain medication (as morphine is) as recent home death in Whanganui showed ..with patient given this in hospital by "pain specialist" on top of an assortment of different atypical antipsychotics and off label recent epilepsy drugs now being experiented with for head injuries, pain etc. Coroner found it "okay" but polypharmacy is rife and untoward effects largely not documented, This was in the MSM not long ago.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • debunk, in reply to debunk,

    Re clinical use of methadone for pain relief

    "Dead woman was on ccktail of drugs - coroner"

    www.stuff.co.nz/national/9453769/Dead-woman-was-on-cocktail-of-drugs-coroner

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • debunk,

    Methadone 10mg twice a day
    Gabapentin - offlabel antiepileptic used for pain relief
    Two anti-psychotic medications (doesn't say which)
    An antidepressant - doesn't say which

    Toxic mixture?

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • debunk,

    www.nzherald.co.nz/news/print.cfm?/objectid=11167932

    "Doctors cleared over drug death" listing

    amytryptyline
    cyclizine
    olanzapine
    gabapentin
    quietapine
    methadone

    All of these described well in Wikipedia so far as I recall..

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to debunk,

    Methadone 10mg twice a day
    Gabapentin – offlabel antiepileptic used for pain relief
    Two anti-psychotic medications (doesn’t say which)
    An antidepressant – doesn’t say which

    Toxic mixture?

    Especially methadone with the others. The FDA is very wary about the use of methadone for pain relief.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    David Cunliffe will be announcing "Labour's synthetic cannabis proposal" at 1.30pm tomorrow in Mangere.

    This will be interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    From Cunliffe's Twitter account:

    Labour will introduce legislation to remove synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances from sale immediately.

    How do they propose to ban all psychoactive substances?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh my god. Dunne done did it already:

    The Government will ban all synthetic drugs within two weeks until they can be proven to be low-risk, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has revealed.

    The move comes as Labour plans to announce its own policy on psychoactive substances tomorrow, and follows increasing protest from local communities to legal highs.

    Mr Dunne told the Herald this afternoon: "Last Tuesday, Cabinet agreed on a proposal from me to introduce legislation under urgency when Parliament resumes to remove the remaining 41 products from the shelves until such time as their low-level of risk can be proven."

    He said he would have made the announcement earlier but he did not want to encourage stock-piling of the drugs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Neither Dunne or Cunliffe is proposing to scrap the Psychoactive Substances Act, just cancel interim approvals.

    Labour’s bill.

    This will be like when BZP was banned: firesaling, stockpiling, a flood out into the illicit market.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And in the latest update, it now appears clear that Dunne had no plans to make an announcement until Labour sent out a notice about its announcement tomorrow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I could see media narratives of either "wounded labour outflanked by government" or "government delays announcing issue affecting nations health for political gain". Of those I am expecting the former.

    Either way, the narrative I am not expecting to see is "what is the evidence for this policy"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Shulgin,

    my goodness...is that a car accident?

    I really hate pragmatic politicians...because the actual problem is that our useless tax funded MOH, Police and Customs...has no idea,,,,so was always going to be an accident.....waiting to happen...

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    re|: Your previous comments have been useful and informative, but this one carries a whiff of the nastier side of Orientalism. I hope I’m misunderstanding you...

    Yes, rest easy on the moral panic. You are mis-understanding. I am not hating on the third world or orientalising, casting the third world as the evil shadow demon other.

    Personally I like the third world. It provides entertaining holiday destinations and great food. Opps, got my tongue stuck in my cheek again.

    When I say 'third world' ...seriously... the third world is a real place but I think there is another version of the third world that is not defined by geographic location, but can be found anywhere,( including first world countries) where there is a lack of access to goods, services, health and education.... in that sense, although NZ is not a third world country, pockets /echoes of third world standards can be found here.

    So no, I am not equating the third world with Asia.

    The reason I mentioned synthetic producing labs in China is because that's where many labs are located and where many of the harmful products are coming from. It just happens to be that way. Chinese are making it for own profit, as well as for western companies as you suggest.

    As for waste chemicals ... no, dumping them is not the solution. But many of these chemicals are not made for human consumption - yet they are ending up in synthetic blends (and food products). Because they are cheap to use. Its just business and innovative (or sometimes desperate) when it comes to maximising profit.


    Synthetic producing labs in the first world have manufacturing standards to meet and are working in a different cultural context. With having to create products which met govt standards, they will be / are producing synthetics that are different from those coming from overseas labs.
    But because the 'third world' is also here in NZ... we have the ugly stuff (unregulated) being imported / made / sold too. The problem is not 'out there', its everywhere.
    Saying that is not about 'hating' - rather its a statement about human inventiveness in the face of economic recession / inequality. Go human spirit.

    But yes, back to orientalising... I am white (and half WOG, hey I'm wog so I can say it)) so I live in white privileged circumstances. It is what it is.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Russell Brown,

    re: This will be like when BZP was banned: firesaling, stockpiling, a flood out into the illicit market...

    Yes, its an awful mistake to announce the change so far ahead of closing the shops. Everything goes underground again.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    Sorry, I keep reminding myself to be careful about posting early in the morning, and then....

    I'm not sure about your comments on manufacturing standards, though. In China, at least, the problem is often more one of enforcement/corruption than regulations or standards. As for the cultural side of things, it is unfortunate that a common herbal component of traditional Chinese medicine can be used to make methamphetimine. Chinese people getting visas to NZ are given a little pamphlet explaining that many Chinese cold medicines can't be taken to NZ for that reason.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And in the latest update, it now appears clear that Dunne had no plans to make an announcement until Labour sent out a notice about its announcement tomorrow.

    Most cynical piece of electioneering I've seen in a long, long time.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Thanks Chris for the clarification re manufacturing standards. I see now you are in Beijing, so 'on the ground' so to speak. I got my info from various articles I've read.

    re the herbal component : yes, ephedrine. Its a medicinal herb with a long history. It gets a good price here in NZ.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.