Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Circular Logic: Drug Use As Both a Cause and a Symptom?

I'll explain this briefly, as I'm currently in a hurry...

Disease proponents contend the following: 

Addiction is a disease which, like many other diseases, can manifest as the result of a choice - in this case that choice being drug use. However, they also compare the behavior of drug use, in an addicted person, to the symptoms of other illnesses - they claim that "compulsive drug use" is to addiction as memory loss is to alzheimers, as mood changes are to schizophrenia, or as low blood sugar is to diabetes.

In other words, drug use itself is both the cause of the disease, and the symptom of the disease. Now, consider how this ideology would present itself in a conversation..

Recovery Worker: "Ryan is a drug addict. He has a disease."
You: "Wow, really? How do you know that?"
Recovery Worker: "Because he keeps on using drugs."
You: "Why does he keep on using drugs?"
Recovery Worker: "Because he's an addict. He has a disease"

So, Ryan is an addict because he keeps on using drugs; and Ryan keeps on using drugs because he's an addict. Think for yourselves whether this makes any sense.

Drug History Timeline Pt 4 (Transition, Taxation, Prohibition Era)


In 1913; The US Government is fundamentally changed in three ways: 1) the Federal Income Tax is established, and the US monetary system is handed over to a private central bank (the federal reserve) 2) The State legislature loses its power to elect its own Senators; thereby weakening the sovereignty of state governments, and giving the federal government greater power over states.

Once the income tax was established, the government was no longer reliant on alcohol-tax revenue (or other sin taxes for that matter). It could now afford to enact prohibition laws disguised as tax laws - these statutes would include taxes that were never expected to be collected, which was okay, because congress now collected plenty of revenue by simply stealing money from the paychecks of Americans, via the income tax. 

The Harrison Act imposes a tax on narcotics to those involved in their trade. The tax requires that in order to produce, sell, distribute, prescribe, or give away narcotics (opiates and coca leaves), one must register with the federal government and pay a tax. There was much debate as to the intention of this act. Some claimed it was intended simply to collect revenue and regulate commerce, while others claimed it was to prevent the casual use of opiates. Later rulings by federal courts however, interpreted the act to claim that narcotics could only be given for legitimate medical use; and what constituted 'legitimate' would be left to the interpretation of the courts. Now that one required the stamp of government approval to deal in narcotics, only physicians and pharmacists would be able to register and pay tax - therefore, those who casually sold narcotics without a registration, those who prescribed narcotics for maintenance, and those who bought narcotics from non registered sources - were federally charged with felony tax offenses. (1914)

In 1917, Congress passes a wartime act granting the President the ambiguous power of controlling all "necessaries" for national defense. Amidst an era of the anti-saloon league (ASL) and the alcohol prohibition movement, Congress would (ab)use this wartime power, using it to shut off grain and sugar supply to alcohol distilleries - what clearly followed was a defacto prohibition of alcohol during the later years of WWI.

In 1919, the 18th Amendment was passed into law, and alcohol became illegal. Important to note is that in the time following ratification of alcohol prohibition, there came to be a general sense of fear that drinkers would simply switch to narcotics like morphine and heroin. So following the successful passage of the 18th amendment, the focus was shifted back to narcotics.

Following passage of Alcohol Prohibition just months earlier, and amidst a climate of fear regarding the possible substition of alcohol with narcotics, US Supreme Court Rules that supplying narcotics to users simply to maintain them does not constitute legitimate medical practice. (1919)


Narcotics such as opium, heroin, and cocaine begin to be smuggled from abroad. (1920's)

US Treasury bans all legal heroin sales, creating a black market for heroin. (1923)

Landmark Ruling - US Supreme Court finally Rules that the federal government can in fact regulate medical practice by physicians. Doctors fall into place. (1923)

Opium Convention treaty amended at Geneva, all heroin use is prohibited. (1925)

A black market appears in NYC, while illicitly manufactured heroin analogues also appear on the street internationally. (1925)


The 1930's was a period of heavy mexican immigration. Many mexicans were migrant workers, and had brought marijuana smoking with them. This decade marked the peak of the "Reefer Madness" era (anti pot propaganda era). More Xenophobia - Mexican migrant workers served as a scapegoat for the demonization of pot. 

Clandestine Heroin Analogues are banned. (1930)

As an effect of WW2, Opium routes from India & Persia are blocked, causing an opium & morphine shortage throughout Europe. Industry evolves towards the creation of synthetic analgesics which do not rely on the poppy. (1930's)

Marijuana Stamp Tax Act (1937)

WW2 begins - Another era of "Yellow Peril", this time characterized by a fear of the Japanese (1939)


WW2 (1939-1945)

Methadone introduced to US market as Dolophine (1947)


Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs is formed
Methadone is given experimentally to addicts as a narcotic substitution drug. (1960's)

Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Resolutions are made that will eventually result in the Controlled Substance Act nearly a decade later. (1961)

US becomes involved in Vietnam (1965)

A counterculture emerges, largely in protest of the Vietnam war. This was the period associated with the "hippie movement". Use of marijuana, LSD, and other psychedelics was common within this counterculture. US Government responds, demonizing the counterculture and their drugs of choice.


In anticipation of his re-election campaign, President Nixon gets hard to work with an anti heroin crusade which will generate needed publicity. His administration works hard to find or manufacture easily-solved "problems" which can be represented as "victories" in his battle against crime. At times this includes inventing statistics out of thin air, and manipulating the numbers over time to show government victory, yet simultaneously, a need for more funding, time, and enforcement. (1968-1972)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Warning: Avoid Injecting Fentanyl

This is extremely important so let me say this now. Transdermal patch fentanyl preparations in the GEL form (such as the original Duragesic) should NEVER be prepared for injected use; whether it's IV, IM or SC (skin popping).
The fentanyl containing gel is likely to contain an inconsistent level of fentanyl by volume, and even if the amount per gel volume is consistent, a semi-liquid substance is very difficult to divide/measure in single dose amounts in the absence of precision equipment. Secondly and less significantly (relative to a respiratory arrest and death from overdose), gel forms of fentanyl contain potentially harmful agents which should never be injected. The gel is alcohol based.


This is unlike the film matrix form of fentanyl, in the form of a paper thin strip: this form is designed so that fentanyl release is consistent with surface area; allowing correct *non medical* dosing to be measured by simply dividing the strip with scissors or a sharp point.

Non clinical injection of fentanyl in itself is a BAD idea, even for those who are highly tolerant. Most addicts and users alike simply do not have the knowlege or the skill (not to mention the brain) to safely use this extremely potent substance by this route.
The route with the least danger is swallowing the fentanyl orally; fentanyl is extensively metabolized when taken orally, with a bioavailability roughly in the 20 percent range. Yes this could be seen as wasteful, but I think sticking around to enjoy further fentanyl adventures takes precedence to cost effectiveness (at least to most excluding myself). A 100 microgram per hour patch contains 10mg of fentanyl; when taken orally, about 2mg (or 2000ug) will make its way to the brain. That 2mg of fentanyl is equivalent to approximately 500 MILLIGRAMS of morphine taken orally. YES, a lethal dose for any non tolerant user (this could kill you 5 times over), a possibly lethal dose for many addicts as well.

Lets take the 100ug per hour MATRIX (strip) Patch, containing a total of 10mg of fentanyl. Divide this patch evenly into 10 units to start, each unit containing 1mg (1000ug) of fentanyl. Now further dividing a unit into fourths will make dosing units of 250 micrograms: Which preferably should be divided to units of 125 micrograms, which may allow a possibly safe intravenous dose for a low-tolerant subject; equivalent to about 12.5mg IV morphine (Dividing further IS reccomended in the name of caution) Prepared into 125ug dosing units, a 100ug per hour patch will allow 40 strong injected doses. Just keep in mind, I have strongly advised against doing so, as self injecting fentanyl is extremely dangerous and kills many who attempt it. I have provided this semi-detailed information in hopes of providing guidance and harm reduction to those who are careless enough to try this.

FENTANYL TRANSDERMAL PATCH: This paper-thin matrix form can be accurately divided into smaller single dose units

Remember to start small. You can always take more. But you can never take less. One mistake with fentanyl will most likely be your last.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Intranasal Oxymorphone

Well, this is news to me.

Oxymorphone has been reported by studies to be rapidly and somewhat effectively absorbed by mucous membranes in the nasal passages, with an intranasal bioavailability of upwards of 40 percent (specifically 43%). Compared to its only 10 percent oral bioavailability. Important to note that overall b/a of oral formulations by this route are likely to be somewhat lower due to poor absorbtion and drug to filler ratio. An instant release nasal spray formulation of OM has supposedly been in development - I have no knowledge as to whether this is really the case.

UPDATE: See more recent post for further information


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Young Narcotic Users & the Relative Cost Efficiency of Heroin

A relatively naive user with low to moderate opioid tolerance might typically use 2 OC-80's per day.

"I'm forking out 100.00$ per day for 2 OC 80's. I just shot a bag (0.1g) of heroin, my first time ever. I was blasted, much stronger than shooting an 80 of oxy and it only cost me 10 bucks! Fuck oxy. I can save a ton of money this way, AND afford to be using all the time."

Yes, this mentality has been common among the younger generation for the past 15 years, ever since the release, and subsequent discovery of OxyContin, by casual users and opiate addicts alike. The product has been worshipped and ridiculously overpriced; both in the retail and the underground setting. An 80 milligram tablet goes for up to 60.00$ in the Traverse City area, and reportedly higher in other places. However the street prices may have changed recently, I know they have in most areas; with the recent release of the new reformulated product the street price has dropped substantially, with the dwindling supplies of the original product selling for a premium, up to 1 dollar per milligram or more..

Back to the topic at hand; yes, heroin offers a cost effective route for those new to the opiate lifestyle who have previously only used the RX drugs.

Let's do some math here:

Taken by the IV (injected) route, morphine is about 1.5 times stronger than oxycodone by the same route. Heroin, is twice as potent as morphine by this route; therefore, IV heroin is about 3 times stronger than an equal dose of IV oxycodone. For example, 10mg of IV heroin equals 30mg of IV oxycodone.

TARGET was my product of choice while in NY 
Heroin is most typically sold in 'bundles'; a bundle is a total of 1 gram powder material, divided into 10 bags, each with 100 milligrams of powder. Now depending on purity and cut; Each 100 milligram bag may typically contain 30 to 70 milligrams of actual heroin (with the remaining 30 to 70 milligrams diluting agent) A bundle typically sells for 75 to 100 dollars, give or take.

So think about it; even with a product of very low purity, maybe 25 percent; with a single bag you are receiving the equivalent of 75 milligrams of oxycodone. This single bag costs 7 to 10 dollars, whereas an 80 milligram oxycodone tablet would cost up to 60 dollars or more. And remember, with the typical unit sold being a bundle; composed of TEN of these bags, you're getting exponentially more for your money; by 10-fold at the WORST.

So you do the rest of the math. 

2 Oxy 80's per day, costing 120 dollars per day.


2 bags of heroin per day, costing 15 to 20 dollars each day.

And this is based off the assumption that the heroin is only 20 percent pure...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Loperamide In Opioid Withdrawal

I recommend readers refer to my more recent information on loperamide and opioid withdrawal; which most people will likely find more informative/useful.

The active ingredient in the popular over the counter diarrhea medication (Immodium) is a highly lipophilic & poorly water soluble synthetic opioid. It is a non-controlled substance due to the fact it has negligible potential for addiction or misuse. Loperamide does not cross the blood brain barrier in significant amounts. Therefore causes no central activity (all psychoactive drugs act on the central nervous system). Any small amount of the drug that does cross the blood brain barrier is rapidly exported from the brain by P-glycoprotein, a multi drug resistance protein. Loperamide does act on mu opioid receptor sites peripherally, especially within the gut, by decreasing activity of the myenteric plexus (within the large intestine); its way of relieving diarrhea. Most opioid agonists work this way including morphine and codeine, and both have been used for the same purpose.

Loperamide was shown in studies to cause a mild physical dependence, with symptoms of opioid withdrawal upon abrupt discontinuation of therapy; the drug at one point was controlled under Schedule V of the CSA, this is no longer the case.

It is commonly believed that certain drugs which inhibit P-Glycoprotein will allow for loperamide to cross the blood brain barrier, and produce the desired centrally mediated effects (psychoactive rather than simply physiological).

Whether or not one can create conditions conducive to loperamide's blood brain barrier penetration, the drug in fact does serve a valuable purpose in easing opioid withdrawal. Not only the severe diarrhea, but every other symptom that is mediated peripherally; in other words, loperamide in the right dose will completely eliminate the physiological symptoms and discomfort of opioid withdrawal.

Skeptical? I was. Though in theory it makes sense, I had attempted using loperamide in the past while detoxing to no avail; dose range was 24 to 48mg. The dose needed in most cases to make any impact in withdrawal is upwards of 70mg. Yes, this dose is extremely high, and one will ask; "how could you ever sh** again in your life?" . However, loperamide causes no more constipation than the typical opioid; morphine or codeine. Opioid addicts and highly tolerant subjects take hundreds of times the typical therapeutic dose, just showing how widely tolerance can vary and how high it will go.

Note; respiratory depression is obviously a non issue; UNLESS the drug crosses the b/b barrier. Administration of loperamide following doses of quinine (a pgp inhibitor) resulted in respiratory depression; indicating central opioid activity.

After trying this for myself (in a much higher dose) for the last 48 hours, I have not a doubt in my mind as to the validity of the claim that loperamide will alleviate the physiological discomfort of withdrawal. 180mg was taken late last night 24 hours post buprenorphine dose - Initial symptoms of withdrawal were becoming apparent. The drug is extremely long acting, similar in duration to methadone.

Think of a narcotic high without the euphoric-antidepressant properties. So basically a body buzz (hey, at least they can't tell you you're numbing your feelings anymore). Histamine seemed to be an issue, which 25mg diphenhydramine eliminated. Constipation, obviously. Sick? Not at all. Miosis - Pupils pinned. I look like I would had I taken morphine or methadone. I dosed 80mg around 11am; initial dose should be high, with the following doses in the range of 50 to 75% the initial dose, a full 72 hours should be expected for peak plasma. Lope was discontinued at 5pm upon aquiring buprenorphine/naloxone strips.

In conclusion; loperamide is effective in eliminating the physical aspect of opioid withdrawal, and may even make a good maintenance tool for those without access to methadone or buprenorphine; I know of a number of people who do just this.
For those kicking, or those suffering between the scripts or the fix, I reccomend you utilize this easily available aide/tool. I now swear by it.

Note: I now venture as far as to say that loperamide in even higher doses, taken on a regular regimen, will result in significant amounts of the drug effectively crossing the blood brain barrier, allowing for CNS opioid effects.

I believe that by 1) Using a PGP Inhibitor such as quinine, and 2) completely overwhelming the workload of P-Glycoprotein with excessive dosing of loperamide; The drug will act centrally in addition to peripherally, rather than peripherally alone.

Note: This is simply a theory, which should NOT be attempted outside of a clinical setting. Assuming loperamide was allowed to act centrally, it is unknown what an acceptable dose would be, or what the therapeutic to toxic dose margin would be. Making yourself a guinea pig to this experiment outside of clinical research could easily result in your death. Loperamide is a relative of the Phenylpiperidine class of synthetics which include the highly toxic drug pethidine (commonly known as meperidine). Acute and chronic effects of loperamide on the central nervous system are unknown, and could likely be harmful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

4-MeO-PCP Vault

(Also known as 4-methoxy-phencycidine, or methoxydine)

4-MeO-PCP is a psychoactive drug of the dissociative family, which in recent years has been distributed as a research chemical (i.e. designer drug). It possesses psychedelic, euphorigenic, and sedative properties. This compound is an arylcyclohexylamine derivative, and an analogue of PCP (phencyclidine). Methoxydine has roughly the same potency as ketamine.

Its pharmacology is similar to PCP; it is believed to act as an NMDA antagonist, and as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

Responsible Intravenous Drug Use

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Drug History Timeline Pt 5 (Modern War On Drugs Era)


Controlled Substance Act establishes drug scheduling system. (1970)

Nixon declares "War on Drugs". (1971)

The Drug Enforcement Administration is created to take over the role previously filled by the Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs. The office of diversion control becomes a DEA branch focusing on prescription drugs. (1973)

Drug Warrior and New York Governer Nelson Rockefeller introduces mandatory minimum sentencing laws for the possession of personal amounts of illicit narcotics; legislation included mandatory sentences of 15 years to life in prison for mere possession of relatively small quantities. (Initially he had supported the death penalty, but others did not share this sentiment) (1973)

World opium shortage depletes US codeine supplies and brings on what some call a pain and coughing crisis. (early 70's)

By request from the Nixon Administration, Bio-engineers rush to develop a Thebaine only poppy, in large part to replace foreign opium poppy supplies which are currently being depleted via Nixon's opium crusade. (early 70's)

Methadone Maintenance Treatment, first piloted in NYC, goes mainstream in the US. (early 70's)


MS Contin is representative of the push for more liberal pain management in medicine, and marks the beginning of the widespread utilization of opioids for chronic use in noncancer pain. For the first time since the the early 19th century, opioids begin to enjoy a less stigmatized place in therapy. (1987)


Calfornia adopts its "Three Strikes" sentencing laws. Other states follow suit with similar legislation. (1994)

Duragesic and OxyContin, both long acting narcotic analgesics, are introduced to the US market and aggressively marketed for treatment of chronic pain. Collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and medical practice leads to a trend of increased opioid use for the chronic treatment of nonterminal pain. (1990's)

This period marks a general change in attitudes regarding the use of controlled substances in chronic therapy. Long term palliation of symptoms with controlled substances with no intent to "cure" becomes a more common and socially acceptable practice. (late 1990's)


Management of pain with opioids becomes its own subspecialty in some areas, with Pain Clinics in Florida which capitalize on the high demand for opioid analgesic prescriptions. Massive demand, coupled with repressive prescription-only drug laws incentivize enterprising yet unscrupulous Doctors to grab their piece of the market. Many clinics accept cash only and begin dispensing medication themselves rather than supplying paper prescriptions for filling at outside pharmacies. The "pain management" industry evolves to resemble the medical marijuana industry in some respects, while supply fuels demand by creating repeat consumers. Incidentally, destructive and harmful use of presciption opioids reaches significant levels, even in the non metropolitan, middle class population; The media sensationalizes the crisis; running stories of self destruction and death, often in teens. Doctors come under scrutiny from grieving families and the media, for the irresponsibility and negligence of their loved ones or friends. Federal Drug Enforcement expands to target doctors and medical practice, launching a paramilitary domestic assault on doctors and patients, and leading a new phase in the war on drugs that is even more over-reaching & micromanaging than the last (2000 to present day)

The internet is increasingly convenient sales front for the illicit prescription drug trade; web based businesses offer RX narcotics and controlled substances without prescriptions required, though many are actually scams. The DEA launches assaults on internet drug suppliers. (Early 2000's)

DATA allows medical opioid maintenance in dependent users by take-home prescription, using licensed CIII drugs specially approved for this purpose (2000)

OxyContin has become widely marketed, while its intentional misuse is brought to the attention of the FDA. Because the risk of the drug is present mainly when knowingly and intentionally misused, the misuse is addressed through black box warning labels. (2002)

Buprenorphine is changed from class V to class III of the CSA List, shortly after, Suboxone & Subutex are approved by FDA for opioid dependence. (2002)

FDA threatens a ban on Palladone due to inadvertent overdoses when mixed with alcohol. It is concluded that due to the widespread casual use of alcohol, there is a significant danger of unintentional overdose, and this danger can not be effectively addressed through warning labels alone. (2005)

Purdue Pharma is convicted in court for their misleading marketing of their narcotic medication, OxyContin (2007)

Attitudes begin to shift yet again, regarding chronic opioid therapy.


US Congress, Dept. of Justice, and the FDA make resolutions to systematically restrict opioid prescribing and bring electronic drug monitoring to every state. (2011)

Organizations like the Drug Policy Alliance, CATO Institute, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and a recent Global Commission on Drug Policy have become increasingly vocal regarding the lunacy and inhumanity of drug prohibition. Calls for drug legalization have reached mainstream, and the legalization movement has been endorsed by personalities such as George Soros, Ethan Nadelman, and US Congressman Ron Paul (Texas congressman and republican presidential candidate for 2012) (present day)

Monday, November 22, 2010

DOM Vault (i.e. STP)

Popularly known as STP (for Serenity, Tranquility, and Peace). DOM is a psychoactive compound of the phenethylamine chemical family - it is chemically known as 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine. It is known for its hallucinogenic/psychedelic properties.

In its users, DOM produces alterations in sensory perception and processing, open or closed eye hallucinations, and fundamental changes in thought process, cognition, and awareness.

DOM shares similar pharmacology with LSD, as it acts as a partial agonist at 5HT serotonergic receptors - specifically 5HT2 type A, B, and C. Its hallucinogenic effects have been attributed to its action at the 2A subtype.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2C-X Series

Prototypic structure of a 2C compound

2C-X Refers to a series of phenethylamine derived compounds, with psychedelic, empathogenic, or enactogenic properties. Compounds in this series share structural similarities with MDMA and other analogues of the MDxx series. Multiple 2C series compounds have been available as grey market designer drugs (research chemicals). 2C-I and 2C-B are two well known analogues of the series.

The term "2C" derives from the fact that the alkyl side chain does not contain an alpha methyl group as do other substituted phenethylamines such as those of the amphetamine family, and therefore features 2 Carbon atoms instead of 3 or more (for this reason also, 2C compounds are more properly referred to as substituted phenethylamines rather than substituted amphetamines).

The 2C series was originally synthesized by researcher Alexander Shulgin in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and had been discussed in his book “PiHKAL” (i.e. Phenethylamines I know and have loved). Shulgin’s writings are well worn within the circles of the clandestine chemist, hobbyist, and RC manufacturer.


(Referred to in drug circles as Bee's or Nexus)

2C-B is a psychoactive drug of the 2C series. It has been sold and consumed as a research chemical, and is now illegal in the US. It is often encountered in the rave/party culture, typically in the form of a powder, pressed tablet (similar to ecstasy) or gel-cap.

2C-B produces typical psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects - characterized by mild to significant changes in sensory perception, sensory processing, thought and cognition. Open or closed eye visual alterations/distortions, excitation, and a general "body-buzz" are common.

The effects are associated with its action on serotonergic neurons. 2C-B is a partial agonist or antagonist at the 5HT2A receptor, and also exhibits agonist efficacy at the 5HT2C receptor. Its effects in this case are believed to be linked to the latter; as its efficacy at the 2A subtype is minimal to non existent.


2C-I is another psychoactive compound of the 2C series. It has been sold as a research chemical throughout the US and UK, and it currently remains legal; although there is currently pending legislation attempting to ban 2C-I and other compounds of the series (on grounds of their structural similarity to the currently illicit 2C-B and 2-CT7). It is available through online vendors as its hydrochloride salt, a white, crystalline powder.

2C-I exhibits both psychedelic and enactogenic properties. Low doses are reported to produce excitation, stimulation, and minor changes in cognition, while higher doses yield hallucinogenic and empathenogenic effects - compared both to LSD, and MDMA. Its pharmacology is believed to be similar to that of other 2C compounds.


25I-NBOME is a psychoactive compound of the phenethylamine family and an analogue of 2C-I. It has been sold as an RC and produces psychedelic effects, attributed to its mode of action as a potent 5HT2A receptor agonist.

This compound is active in doses less than 1 milligram. It has appeared on blotter papers for buccal application, and has been represented as LSD at parties, raves, and rainbow festivals.

Chemically, this compound is an N-substituted derivative of the 2Cx series. Its use has very much replaced that of the traditional 2Cx compounds in jurisdictions such as the US, where the immediate 2Cx family has been outlawed.