Archive for September 2013

Drug testing in clubs: life saver or service to illegal drug market?

September 30, 2013, 2:32 pm

Channel 4 (U.K.) ran this story about a city-funded testing service in Vienna that rapidly analyzes the purity and composition of drugs submitted by those attending local dance clubs. The turn-around time is about an hour, and once the results are back the individual can make a more decision, and determine whether they want to go ahead and take the …

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Key questions about the Arizona krokodil cases

September 28, 2013, 2:01 pm

Very few details have been released so far concerning the two cases of possible exposure to krokodil exposure in Arizona that we posted about yesterday. My understanding is that the cases are being investigated by the public health department, and that they are awaiting laboratory confirmation.

I am not quite sure what “laboratory confirmation” would mean in these cases. The …

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First 2 U.S. cases of krokodil-induced soft tissue injury reported in Phoenix area

September 27, 2013, 9:51 am

Two years ago TPR reported on krokodil, a homemade inexpensive heroin substitute that had become popular among certain subcultures in Russia. Krokodil was made by cooking codeine (easily available over-the-counter in Russia at that time) with various ingredients including red phosphorous, hydrochloric acid, paint thinner, gasoline, and iodine. The result was desomorphine, a designer opiate that is an …

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“This American Life” report on acetaminophen sensationalistic and inaccurate

September 26, 2013, 1:18 pm

The entire hour-long current episode of public radio’s This American Life  is taken up by an investigation into risk of inadvertent accidental acetaminophen toxicity, carried out in association with the investigative public interest group ProPublica. The episode — titled “Use Only As Directed” — makes five major points, as summarized on the ProPublica site:

  1. About 150 Americans

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Synthetic marijuana turns deadly: Weekly Web Review in Toxicology

September 10, 2013, 9:53 am


Three Deaths in Denver Linked to Synthetic Marijuana: CNN (above) reported that 3 deaths in Denver may have been related to smoking synthetic marijuana products. As many as 75 other users — some in critical condition — may have been seen at local hospitals. Symptoms seem to include respiratory difficulty and seizures. Cases were not seen outside of the …

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ABC News misses a key point about “Molly”

September 5, 2013, 2:21 pm

ABC News has had several stories in the last several days about “Molly” following the deaths of 2 people over the weekend, apparently after taking the drug at a NYC music/dance festival over the weekend. With another death at an El Paso festival and one at Boston’s House of Blues — both apparently related to “Molly” — …

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Must-read: reports of acetyl fentanyl-related deaths among drug abusers may herald deadly epidemic

September 4, 2013, 7:41 pm


Acetyl Fentanyl Overdose Fatalities — Rhode Island, March-May 2013. Lozier M et al. MMWR 2013 Aug 30;62:703-704.

Full Text

On June 27 of this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs issued a warning noting 50 overdose deaths this year in that state along from the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl and a derivative, the previously unseen drug of …

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Drug-related deaths close NYC music festival: Weekly Web Review in Toxicology

September 3, 2013, 7:11 pm


Two dead at NYC music festival apparently overdosed on drugs: A story in the New York Post provided some details about the two deaths apparently related to drug overdoses at the Electric Zoo Festival this weekend at NYC’s Randall’s Island. A 23-year-old Syracuse University graduate and a 20-year-old University of New Hampshire junior died after reportedly ingesting a drug being

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