Drug Policy

The New Fake Pot: Fake Speed


Now that the DEA has banned fake pot (or at least banned five of the myriad chemicals that can be used to make it), fake speed is next in line as the scary legal high du jour. A recent A.P. story blames methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)—the active ingredient in "bath salts" that are sold under brand names such as Cloud 9 and are supposed to simulate the effects of methamphetamine and cocaine—for hallucinations, paranoid delusions, domestic violence, and suicide as well as "rapid heart beat" and "hypertension." The article also mentions another stimulant, mephedrone, a.k.a. 4-methylmethcathinone, which reportedly has empathogenic effects similar to MDMA's. Mark Ryan, head of the Louisiana Poison Center, tells A.P. "users describe the drugs as many times more potent than Ritalin or cocaine." Henry A. Spiller, director of the Kentucky Regional Poison Center in Louisville, says even "experienced drug users" can't handle these drugs' "fairly nasty effects."

These third-hand reports should be taken with a grain of (bath?) salt. MDPV and 4-methylmethcathinone both get mixed reviews at Erowid, but the general impression is not that they are substantially more dangerous than the illicit intoxicants for which they are supposed to serve as substitutes. Still, they are not nearly as well researched, and their long-term effects are unknown, so these "bath salts" (also sometimes sold as fertilizer or insect repellent, according to A.P.) are yet another example of how prohibition makes drug use riskier.

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  1. Now that the DEA has banned fake pot (or at least banned five of the myriad chemicals that can be used to make it),

    How does the DEA ban anything? They’re an enforcement agency, not a regulatory one.

    And frankly, even a regulatory agency shouldn’t be able to ban anything.

    I’m getting a little tired and a little more than concerned that this nation is no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of unelected career bureaucrats.

    And I’ve been in ‘discussions’ with so-called libertarians who have no trouble with the structure of the regulatory state. Yes, they may argue that we have too many regulations, but they don’t argue with the concept of regulatory agencies.

    I’m one of those libertarian sticks-in-the-mud who believes that Congress should pass all laws and/or regulations. That regulatory agencies should become advisory agencies, submitting packages of proposed regulations to congress, and then congress can vote on each package. This allows us to put our money where our democracy is.

    1. Is there really a difference between the DEA controlling what substances are banned and a congress which bans whatever substance the DEA recommends be banned?

      1. Yes. Congress is an elected body. Generally, you’d like an elected body to be responsible for imposing restrictions on natural liberties. Given the power, the DEA could ban whatever it likes and still have a job tomorrow. Congress wouldn’t be so lucky.

  2. If there is any danger of someone enjoying themselves with a chemical, the DEA is there to stop you. Even for bath salts.

    It’s like all the scum who would have been prohibition agents (Van Alden types) just turned around and applied to the DEA. Because other than alcohol, prohibition is still full on.

    1. Because other than alcohol, prohibition is still full on.

      Citation Needed.

      1. He didn’t get the memo.

        1. Yep, lost the damn memo.

          1. What’s this about memos? And, please, try to talk softer.

              1. Well, I know what I’m going to wanek-it to tonight.

                What a brainded piece of shit.

                blood-alcohol content hit .50, six times the legal limit of .08.

                Ok, because the “legal limit” is somehow related to alcohol safety? Only so far as driving is involved (and that’s debatable IMO.) How about comparing it to the LETHAL DOSAGE (stated in BAC)? Oh, no, that would required some research, let’s just go with the legal limit for driving. Plus that’ll scare people more.

                I wouldn’t even wrap my fish with that excuse for journalism.

                1. .50 is still well beyond the BAC considered to be potentially lethal. (.35 to .40, depending on whose numbers you like.)
                  I don’t disagree with your criticism, though.

                  1. Thank you for not disagreeing Some Guy, but I have to disagree with your agreement, in that .50 isn’t really “well beyond” the potientially-lethal-limit.

                    I’m arguing semantics at this point though, since there’s not much value in contrasting “Really Fucked” with “COMPLETELY FUCKED”.

              2. “151 proof everclear”

                Dude what?

      2. Citation Needed.
        I bought some alcohol legally yesterday, if that helps. So alcohol prohibition, while it may be partly on, is not full on.

  3. Let’s not pretend that fake pot doesn’t come with some very real make believe dangers to our children.

    1. This is a great argument for the prohibition of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

      1. O wait, those have real dangers. nvm

        1. That’s why we’re banning those, too.

  4. These are research chemicals. Unless you want to conduct some experiments, perhaps it would be a good idea to stay away from them. Experimenting on yourself is probably a bad idea!

    1. So what? Lot’s of stuff is a bad idea. Being fat, sitting for extended periods, eating too much blah blah blah. Being a lard ass is killing more people and hurting more children than all illicit drugs * 100 and when the day comes that being a lard ass is outlawed, it’s going to suck even if you’re not one.

    2. Experimenting on yourself is probably a bad idea!

      Maybe, but I’m willing to try it if I can be the 1st person to upload himself into a computer brain.

      1. (Thinking of just sticking with my jokehandle all day, as penance, when I fuckup my jokehandles.)

    3. Safe, proven, and effective alternatives such as Heroin and LSD have been banned.
      (“Thanks” Woodrow Wilson and LBJ !)

  5. Experimenting on yourself is probably a bad idea!

    Then don’t do it.

    If the press didn’t bleat all these warnings that the DEA is telling them to I wouldn’t have known about it. Getting high on bath salt? I admit I never would have thought of that one.

  6. Not that they need to be banned, but these newer chems are quite a bit more dangerous than the existing drugs simply because Drs. don’t know how to treat people who come in ODing on the stuff.

    My wife is doing her medical residency in MS. She was on an ER rotation a couple months back that over the course of it, saw a dozen people die because they came in ODing on “Ivory Bath Salts” that the Drs. had no clue how to treat other than general supportive care.

    She told me flat out, we’ve got stuff to deal with opiates, cocaine, meth, you name it, but when they come in high on “bath salts” WTF exactly are we supposed to do?

    1. WTF exactly are we supposed to do?

      Not treat patients as per The Manual, and use some of those critical skills they taught in 8 years of extra-school?

      I know, crazy. I don’t do shit at my job either unless it’s explicitly stated in The Manual.

      1. “I know, crazy. I don’t do shit at my job either unless it’s explicitly stated in The Manual.”

        You must be Union.

        1. Close, Gov’t Subcontractor. All the restrictions of union work, with none of the benefits.

      2. Makes perfect sense to me. When someone comes in ODing on shit you’ve never heard of and have no idea what’s in it, JUST GUESS!

        Never mind the fact that guessing wrong can kill the patient just as surely as doing nothing. Just guess and go on with life.

        It’s not a matter of using “critical skills.” Critical thinking and problem solving requires some information input in order to function, otherwise its a Scientific Wild Ass Guess, which doesn’t do anybody a lot of good.

        And this isn’t just a resident that doesn’t know what to do with these people, its ER docs with 20+ years of experience under their belt. Medicine is foundationed on past experience and when you have no past experience, its a crap shoot as to what the outcome will be….

        1. Critical thinking and problem solving requires some information input in order to function

          Agreed. And unless I’m mistaken, doctors have lots of diagnostic equipment at their disposal. Ofcourse, that would involve more than just asking “what did he take” and then following The Manual accordingly.

    2. (I’m sayin, keep your human intellect out of the equation and robots will replace you in 20-50 years. Hell, I could interact with a vending machine and get 95% of the experience of dealing with a doctor. Of course, thanks to litigation, doctors aren’t allowed to think, so, nevermind.)

    3. My wife is an ER nurse in MS and just dealt with one of these guys this past week. She called me telling me about a guy melting and injecting Ivory Soap (Because it was like meth). I did a quick search on Erowid and mentioned that it might be this particular research chemical and that it is sometimes sold as “Ivory Bath Salts”. Instead it turns out this idiot apparently overheard someone talking about the “bath salts” but actually thought it was the soap. He really did shoot up Ivory soap. He didn’t feel very well for a while but they eventually sent him home (and we get to pay for it all).

      I don’t think the RCs should be outlawed. I do find it amazing that so many drugs that have been classified as schedule 1 are not addictive and even have much better safety profiles than things like SSRIs that are handed out like candy. Well I say that I find it amazing, but when you consider it’s all about control and not about safety then it’s just more of the same.

      1. but when you consider it’s all about control and not about safety then it’s just more of the same.

        50years from now, I’m going to be laughing my ass off at the discovery that anti-depressants and other brain-meds work as nothing more than brainwashing.

        And we think it’s the quality of education leading to the stupidity that is the Modern American. But, hey, let’s keep giving kids drugs to make em more manageable, couldn’t be ANY possible consequences there, nope, none at all.

        Whoops, clearly I forgot to take my happy pill today.

  7. Fake speed? I thought that’s what the kids that drive soupped up Hondas had…

    1. No, those are stickers.

  8. I know Cop Speed is Chris Johnson.

    Perhaps Fake Speed is Wes Welker?

  9. Does anyone actually use these as bath salts? A while ago while Googling for bath salts I hit (IIRC) a YouTube entry pointing to someplace for high quality bath salts that I suppose was probably something like this, because it looked kinda “funny”. They wouldn’t be allowed to supply directions for use other than as bath salts, so I’m guessing there are indeed people who use them as bath additives, from which I’m sure they suffer no ill effect.

    1. No – these materials don’t appear (or belong) in any product truly intended for use in the bath.

      MDPV is active at seriously low doses – as little as 0.5mg orally was enough to keep me work-focused and appetite/fatigue-free from dawn to dusk – for months. A packet of MDPV in a bath could genuinely set somebody off!

  10. You know, it sounds like the DEA believes the hype of the pushers.

    buyer:”do you have drug x?”
    seller:”no man that’s illegal. too hot. but this stuff is ten times better!”
    buyer:”ten times better? I find that hard to believe, it looks like sugar pills”
    seller:”I swear to god man would I lie to you? you gotta try this stuff it’s the latest thing!”
    dea agent wiretapping conversation (to himself):”ten times!? omg! We have to get that stuff off the street now!”

  11. To journalists and irresponsible assholes: Don’t fucking ruin a good thing.

    1. PV is used medically, MDPV could be too. It can be used safely and responsible.

  12. PlutosDad, you need to do rethink your comment.. ‘Bath Salts’ are not even being sold by drug dealers, they are being sold over the counter in headshops, gas stations, everywhere our kids can be. There are so many people who are trying this drug called ‘bath salts’, I’m from NC, and there are wayy too many kids hooked on this stuff. It has even hospitalized one of my son’s friends. This should not be legal and has already proven that it can kill someone. And obviously the kids are able to get their hands on it, kids will be kids, they will experiment and this drug has a very addicting ingredient. MDPV has a horrible comedown, and is even more potent than crystal meth. I recommend actually doing some research before posting bullshit lies about a very serious drug. This cannot be used “on the streets” for a medical use. Clearly, the DEA cannot control it, and its sending young kids to rehab. Something needs to be done. It is already taking a toll on the youth of today. And if someone is naive enough to think that the people in today’s society in America can use it without going overboard, I encourage you to prove it, because so far, all I am seeing is overdosage and hospitalization.

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