drugs

‘Instead of committing suicide, people go to work.’ –Thomas Bernhard

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Ketamine, a chemical used as an anaesthetic for horses and as an illegal party drug, can produce “remarkable changes” in severely depressed patients who are not helped by existing treatments, according to a new study.

Oxford university researchers reported encouraging results from a clinical trial in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Some patients who had been severely depressed for years, despite multiple antidepressants and talking therapies, responded rapidly to intravenous infusions of ketamine.

[…]

The Oxford team has given more than 400 ketamine infusions to 45 patients and is now looking for ways to sustain the initial benefits, which faded in most of the patients.

Although ketamine is a banned substance – and about to be upgraded by the Home Office from Class C to Class B – the Oxford patients did not show the ill effects, such as bladder problems and memory loss, which make it a dangerous drug of abuse.

The doses used to treat depression are much lower than some people take illegally. Even so, most patients experienced a shortlived “dissociative” effect, with feelings that they were disconnecting from their body, as the drug was being infused. It did not produce euphoric feelings.

{ FT | Continue reading }

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day

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{ Dequincey jynxie | Related: Street Names for Heroin }

Each conatus is also considered as a force tending toward self-expansion

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One of them had a connection with dealers from South Jamaica — and brokered an arrangement where the New Yorkers would purchase narcotics from their California partners and then sell the drugs on consignment in the city, the sources said.

Their first transaction went smoothly, with the California trio shipping one kilo to their Queens partners, who sold the coke and promptly mailed a share of the money back to California, according to the sources.

But the New York dealers were slow sending the Californians their cut after a second transaction, the sources said.

And in their third and final deal, the South Jamaica goons not only kept all the proceeds after selling three kilos — they then tried to lure their business partners to New York City to assassinate them, according to the sources.

But only Woodard showed up on Dec. 10, 2012 […] and was murdered execution-style by a gunman in broad daylight on busy West 58th Street off Seventh Avenue.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

A way a lone a last a loved a long the

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Deaths from drug overdoses increased by 102 percent between 1999 and 2010. […] As a recovering addict who still works with active users in communities where heroin is sold on the street, I can tell you that it’s particularly dangerous out there right now. Recently, an unpredictable and hard-to-track bad batch of Fentanyl-tainted heroin dipped and dodged its way through the mid-Atlantic. […]

Fentanyl-tainted bags go fast; ironically, when news of a batch laying users low spreads on the streets, heavy users seek the potent bags out by their brand stamp. Overdoses become advertisements for strong product. […]

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of heroin users ages 12 and up increased from 373,000 to 669,000.

{ The Atlantic | Continue reading }

Nearly 70 small bags of heroin and enough prescription drugs to fill a pharmacy were found in the Greenwich village apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent drug overdose. […] Investigators are trying to find the drug dealer who supplied the actor with the heroin […] labeled “Ace of Spades,” or “Ace of Hearts.” […] The law enforcement source said that a process called “a nitro dump” could be key to cracking the case. “Basically what that is, is any time we make a narcotics arrest we include the brand name on the arrest report and store it in our system so our investigators can see where those brands are being sold,” the source explained. Once they determine a location, they can zero in on the dealer or dealers selling that particular brand.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

Too dead to die

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Psychoactive Plants in the Bible

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The holy anointing oil is essentially an anxiolytic-hallucinogen. The transdermal application of it led to its absorption and psychoactive effects, even in extremely low doses. […]

Myrrh is a resin that is used widely in the bible. Myrrh contains the terpenes furanoeudesma-1,3-diene and curzarene which are Mu-opioid agonists. This opioid receptor is the same one that morphine activates. This means that inhaling or absorbing myrrh incense can cause a drug reaction.

{ NeuroBrainstorm | Continue reading }

art { Francis Bacon, Portrait of George Dyer Talking, 1966 }

Commenting on the deceased’s flaws, especially at length, is considered impolite

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{ Diddo, Ecce Animal | Compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin. | More: In order to prepare and analyze the purity of the accumulated ’street’ Cocaine, I contacted pharmacists at a renowned laboratory }

The magnets of our midst being foisted upon by a plethorace of parachutes

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At the beginning, Walter pursues synthesis using pseudoephedrine. This is used in the real world, as well as in Breaking Bad by many meth cooks. However, by applying his knowledge of chemistry, his experimental abilities, and a half-way professional lab set-up, Walter is able to achieve much better results.

The base substance, pseudoephedrine is a plant-based phenyl ethylamine alkaloid and is used commercially in treatments for nasal and sinus congestion and can be extracted from these treatments. Due to the restrictions on sale, an extensive procurement network is required, which generally means involving a large number of drug addicts, in order to secure the necessary quantities. As the drug addicts can really only acquire the smallest of quantities each time by this “smurfing”, which involves either getting prescriptions for it or stealing it, the availability of this base substance is always a critical factor.

{ Chemistry Views | Continue reading }

God loves the poor and helps the rich

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The New York Times has an important article on how Attention Deficit Disorder, often known as ADHD, has been ‘marketed’ alongside sales of stimulant medication to the point where leading ADHD researchers are becoming alarmed at the scale of diagnosis and drug treatment.

It’s worth noting that although article focuses on ADHD, it is really a case study in how psychiatric drug marketing often works.

This is the typical pattern: a disorder is defined and a reliable diagnosis is created. A medication is tested and found to be effective – although studies which show negative effects might never be published.

It is worth noting that the ‘gold standard’ diagnosis usually describes a set of symptoms that are genuinely linked to significant distress or disability.

Then, marketing money aims to ‘raise awareness’ of the condition to both doctors and the public. This may be through explicit drug company adverts, by sponsoring medical training that promotes a particular drug, or by heavily funding select patient advocacy groups that campaign for wider diagnosis and drug treatment.

This implicitly encourages diagnosis to be made away from the ‘gold standard’ assessment – which often involves an expensive and time-consuming structured assessment by specialists.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

Snow White: Oh, I feel strange. [Starts gasping for air] Queen: [to herself] Her breath will still. Her blood congeal.

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For every 1,000 people who undergo general anesthesia, there will be one or two who are not as unconscious as they seem — people who remember their doctors talking, and who are aware of the surgeon’s knife, even while their bodies remain catatonic and passive. For the unlucky 0.13 percent for whom anesthesia goes awry, there’s not really a good preventive. That’s because successful anesthetization requires complete unconsciousness, and consciousness isn’t something we can measure.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘But to live happy, I must be contented with obscurity.’ –Florian

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Antidepressants are often considered to be mere placebos despite the fact that meta-analyses are able to rank them. It follows that it should also be possible to rank different placebos, which are all made of sucrose. To explore this issue, which is rather more epistemological than clinical, we designed an unusual meta-analysis to investigate whether the effects of placebo in one situation are different from the effects of placebo in another situation.

{ BMC Medecine | Continue reading }

photo { Maurizio Di Iorio }

SHOUTS TO EVERYBODY SHOWING US LOVE!!!!

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AddictionBlog has an amazing article by a doctor and recovering morphine addict that describes the experience of injection, rush and withdrawal.

[…]

Heroin, by the way, is just the prodrug of morphine. In other words, the heroin molecule just gets broken down into morphine in the body and this is how it arrives in the brain. But because each heroin molecule gets transformed into two morphine molecules (hence the medical name for heroin – diamorphine) the feeling can be a little different because increased concentration can apparently make the high more intense.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

If you make me an offer I can’t refuse, then I won’t be able to refuse it

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Frances Kaye, a publicity agent, described a movie party she attended at a Palm Springs resort. A live orchestra entertained a thousand-odd guests while a fountain spouted champagne against the backdrop of a desert sky. As partiers circulated, a doctor made rounds like a waiter, dispensing drugs to guests from a bulging sack. On offer were amphetamines and barbituates, standard Hollywood party fare, but guests wanted Miltown. The little white pills “were passed around like peanuts,” Kaye remembered. What she observed about party pill popping was not unique. “They all used to go for ‘up pills’ or ‘down pills,’” one Hollywood regular noted. “But now it’s the ‘don’t-give-a-darn-pills.’”

{ Andrea Tone/Mindhacks | Continue reading }