About

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").

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Safety-Pertinent Information for Oxymorphone (Opana) Users

Potency Gauge for Intranasal Oxymorphone Tablets 


(Based on an approximate absorbtion rate of 33%)

Click Chart For A Larger Size




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Overview of Numorphan

Numorphan is now commonly known as oxymorphone; I will refer to the drug using these terms interchangeably.


What I find remarkable with oxymorphone is that even seasoned & tolerant users will attest to its striking potency. Most people discover this the first time they try it expecting an effect on the level of high dose oxycodone only to be blown away with a near death experience more akin to fentanyl (in its intensity). Unlike its sister oxycodone, numorphan is heavy. Very, very, heavy. Its potency as a pain reliever is 10x that of morphine and its potency in producing subjective effects is just as great. Limited studies are available detailing its effects, but positive response from users is overwhelming. Some die hard junkies report avoiding oxymorphone altogether, in fear they will go completely nuts with their intake and either lose it, or inevitably skyrocket their narcotic tolerance.

By any route bypassing the GI tract, numorphan induces a marked narcotized state. It is at least as euphoric as heroin. This is especially apparent when injected into a vein. Its onset is rapid, marked by a profound surge of pleasure similar to dilaudid but stronger. Some first time users try Opana expecting a similar experience to oxycodone, only to be blown away by the orgasmic, overwhelming, heavy, morphine-type effects of oxymorphone. This drug is liable to produce far heavier narcosis than oxycodone; its effect is of morphine origin rather than codeine origin. It causes less constipation and itching than morphine, and either more or less nausea & vomiting. Compared to oxycodone, it is more likely to cause nausea. Its likelihood of sedation and somnolence is similar to morphine, and will lead to a nod as doses progress. Those who snort it in the form of Opana ER report a slow onset time, but a profoundly pleasant experience which lasts several hours; likely due in part to a gelling effect of the formulation, when exposed to the moisture of the nose.

Oxymorphone in tablet form (filling and binder considered), is estimated to have a nasal to IV ratio of roughly 3 to 1. This is much better than its 10 to 1 oral to IV ratio. To substitute for 5 mg IV opana, 15 mg of the powder must be insufflated. This would equate to 50mg of IV morphine or 150mg oral morphine.

The potency and potential risks with oxymorphone can not be understated. For general purposes, intranasal oxymorphone is 7.5x stronger than intranasal oxycodone by milligram. Insufflating the powder of a single 40mg Opana tablet can cause a potentially fatal overdose in even those with prior opioid exposure. 40mg of intranasal oxymorphone (even with just 30% b/a) is roughly as potent as 200mg of OxyContin by IV injection - Anyone who claims otherwise does not know what they're talking about and should be ignored. 200mg of OxyContin by IV equates to 266mg by mouth, or 300mg intranasal - Imagine a chipper or non-habitual user injecting the contents of two OxyContin 80's and one 40, in a single shot. In most cases, a "first experience" with oxymorphone will by all means be as intense as a first time experience with fentanyl or heroin. Only the competent user or chronic pain patient, should be dealing with oxymorphone; and only if tolerant to potent opioids such as heroin, etc.

In non dependent opiate users, 1.5 to 2 mg of numorphan injected subcutaneously (under the skin) produced intense narcosis. Its potency in maintaining dependence is roughly 10x greater than morphine. In a study of dependent morphine users, 6mg of oxymorphone subcutaenously every 3 hours was a more than adequate replacement for morphine in doses of 60mg subcutaneously every 6 hours. When given in equianalgesic doses and by injection, numorphan's duration of action is similar to morphine or slightly shorter. With oral use, its painkilling effect generally lasts 3 to 6 hours.

In a short term addiction study, non dependent subjects were given numorphan in increasing doses of 0.5 mg to 6 mg stepwise over 18 days. A physical dependence was developed in this time with a particularly severe withdrawal syndrome upon abrupt cessation, which began to surface 6 hours after the last dose.

User Experiences With Numorphan/Oxymorphone

"It took about 1 hour for the effects to truly peak, and were 5 hours of complete bliss. It was much stronger than any white heroin I've had and much more deep. I paced around the room nervously it became overwhelming at times, occasionally waking my friend who went in and out of the land of nod, most likely because of the booze. I soon became very relaxed and my body was in pure exctasy, warm and fuzzy with a feeling I like to call 'Comfortably Numb', meaning in a perfect state of tranquillity." (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"Although Opana is similiar to the typical opiate high, it is very different. It does not cause the drowsiness, or cloud the mind as much. It is just a pure sense of euphoria. But when doing too much, it caused me to get moody, sometimes somewhat angry, but not extremely aggressive to where I wanted to fight. When doing Opana at a typical dose, the initial onset comes with a relaxing, warmth coming over the body and mind that makes me just want to lay back and go 'ahhh'. Then the lasting high is just a pure sense of happiness, euphoria, a sense of floating, a huge boost of self confidence, loss of inhibitions, and just an overall sense that everything in the world is good. " (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"..It made me feel very calm and happy, and like anything that could happen would be fine with me... It was almost impossible to get any sleep, I kept waking up. But while I was awake I did feel a constant euphoria, which I did enjoy. And my back pains completely went away. I almost felt like my spine was liquid, which is an amazing feeling to anyone with back pains. I still felt like I would be capable to do any normal activity, and I still felt like I could function. " (Oral Oxymorphone User)

"It took about 20 min to hit me due to the fact that this specific pill gels up to prevent injection. It dripped down in one solid clump and hit me hard. It felt like I had done 60 mg of oxycontin. it was a particularly warm evening and I was uncontrollably sweating and pale as a ghost, but felt great." (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"When IV’ed the rush is more of a warm, beautiful specter overpowering me from behind and before the needle is empty she has wrapped me in love, peace, and, happiness, but by the time I catch my breath (literally) she is gone to leave me wanting… Bitch" (IV Oxymorphone User)

"But for some reason the high I get from oxymorphone is a little different from oxycontin. The high feels more 'clean'. There was no nausea, nodding off, zoning out, or any other negative side affects I get with oxycontin. The only negative side affect I really got from doing oxymorphone was I was incredibaly itchy. Seriously the itchyness I get from oxymorphone was 5 times worse than I get with any other opiate. But it felt so good to itch my arms, legs, my head and my back." (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"The high is much more euphoric than any other opiates I've done. The come up is very intense and within 10 minutes of snorting it I begin peaking. There is a rushing sensation in the back of my head and I enjoy and appreciate everything and everyone around me. I have trouble doing anything but sitting motionless with my eyes closed. This is how I usually enjoy my high as the more relaxed I become the more I feel the drug sweeping me away. The euphoria is comparable to sex at high doses although that euphoria quickly drops once you start moving. " (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"So I found myself in my bathroom after working up the whole 10 mg pill in an 80cc shot and BANG I felt a rush similar to dilaudid only more intense. The only way to describe it is a warm, bone crushing, and euphoric feeling. I instantly fell in love with the semisynthetic opioid. I quickly found myself needing to fix every six to eight hours and in that respect is very similar to heroin." (IV Oxymorphone User)

"My hands sweat.. with one hand I flip the vial upside down and with the other I pull the rear cap off the syringe .. I draw back a good 50u of air then slick as can be, I pull off the end cap and jab the needle in.. at this point my vien is throbbing like a hard cock ready for action.. I push the 50u of air into the vial and release as the plunger extends and the rig fills with the liquid.. I pull it out, flick it, ready it, and I don't even have to do as much as grab my arm or do my patented leg-over-the-arm routine - my body is ready for it.. I stick the needle in, as usual, I don't even feel it.. I pull back and get that racing heart beat as the crimson mushroom cloud explodes into the barrel of the syringe.. I push the plunger in, pull out, and for the next 2 hours it was like a long drawn out orgasam.. not the "10,000 warm fuzzy orgasams" they attribute to heroin, but it was probably the most powerfull narcotic experience I have had to date.. I just lay on the carpet of her living room as I suddenly didn't have a care in the world.. everything was right and sound.. never had I been anymore perfect.." (First time oxymorphone user, During withdrawal)

"I have been on Opana since roughly 2-3 weeks after it came on the market. I have extensive experience with Opana. When snorted after eating a full/high fat meal it can be 8-12 times stronger than Oxycodone... no matter how the Oxycodone is taken. I believe the bio-availability of intranasal Opana is higher... closer to 60-70%. All of this varies depending on the person... along with a ton of other variables. As for the people who say/think intranasal Opana(Oxymorphone) is only 2-4x stronger than Oxycodone do NOT know what they are talking about and should simply be ignored." (Experienced Oxymorphone Patient)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Overview of Dilaudid



In the following post, I will refer to hydromorphone by its alternate name, Dilaudid. This was originally not only a "brand" product name, but a general non chemical name for hydromorphone; much like Dicodid is for hydrocodone; Dionine is for ethylmorphine; Numorphan is for oxymorphone; Paramorphan is for dihydromorphine; and Dromoran is for morphanol (racemorphan).

Research has demonstrated its potency. And in some respects, its superiority, to morphine.

Every 8mg of Dilaudid you inject equates to roughly 50mg of IV morphine in analgesic effect. Dilaudid however, causes a greater ratio of euphoria to analgesia by the parenteral routes - While the drug is 6.6x stronger than morphine as a painkiller, hydromorphone is 10x stronger than morphine in euphoric effect when taken in equianalgesic doses. So while every 8mg Dilaudid equates to 50mg morphine in painkilling, it equates to around 80mg of morphine in subjective effects (such as euphoria, anxiolysis, excitement). Again, this applies to the IV route. Not orally.

12mg of IV dilaudid is as effective as 78mg of morphine in relieving pain; and as euphoric & narcotic as a whopping 120mg morphine.

Experience has shown that physical dependence with hydromorphone is marked after 2 weeks of regular use. The opioid withdrawal syndrome generally comes on rapidly and is more intense than that of morphine, but shorter in duration.

In a study of five morphine addicts, morphine dependence was satisfied with hydromorphone (six times daily), at about 1/7th the dose of morphine. It was concluded that the "addiction sustaining action" of hydromorphone is seven times greater than that of morphine.

In a 1930's study in morphine addicts, 90mg of hydromorphone per day effectively substituted for 340mg morphine per day. The addicts were unaware of this substitution, but all seven subjects noted that the effects of hydromorphone were stronger, and that anxiety and restlessness appeared after 3-3.5 hours post injection as opposed to 5-5.5 hours with morphine. This is not surprising, dilaudid is known for its rapid onset and offset. The effects are marked by a rapid & intense onset which is uniquely euphoric compared to other narcotics, similar in to heroin. A typical narcosis follows, which is relatively shortlived. Larger doses or poly-use with a sedative will prolong dilaudid's effect.

Hydromorphone is also superior to morphine in that it causes a lesser degree of side effects. There is less nausea & vomiting, less itching, less psychomotor impairment and less mental clouding with dilaudid. It may be more or less sedating than morphine, and similar in its tendency to produce a nod in high doses. A cleaner or more refined effect in the case of dilaudid however, may equate to its lesser degree of subjective effects when taken orally. This along with its low bioavailability and absence of a rush may explain reports of less of a high when swallowed (some debate this, citing that a state of well being is present, but subtle with dilaudid.)

Its parenteral to oral ratio is 1 to 4. With oral dilaudid, 6mg must be swallowed to match the painkilling effects of 1.5mg of IV hydromorphone or 10mg morphine; and it may require more to achieve a comparable euphorigenic effect. Dilaudid can be taken intranasally (snorted), with slightly better efficacy than oral use; every 1 mg of dilaudid which is snorted equals roughly 0.66 mg of oxymorphone, or 5 mg oxycodone, by the same route.

User Experiences With Dilaudid/Hydromorphone

(Sources include Erowid, Opiophile, Bluelight)

"Looking back, the time after that first rush is alot like a heroin high, doped up feeling, slowed breathing/heart rate, contracted pupils, feeling 'itchy' all over, and generally feeling no pain, cares, or worries at all. But that RUSH, I get a pretty good rush from a nice shot of heroin, but nothing but an overdose shot could give me anything even close to this. I also remember that temperature stopped bothering me, so I sat out on the porch to smoke a cigarette and enjoy the night time... with no shirt on, in the winter. But I didn't care, hell I was flying." (IV Hydromorphone User)

"I could already feel the overwhelming "rush" (as I now learned) half way through the shot, I pushed her home....WOW. I had to take a few deep breaths and relax, it was so intense, never felt like this before. Now even though the rush is gone, got a nice high, and I am enjoying it more then oxycodone." (IV Hydromorphone User)

"..I register dark red and push down the plunger. Just 15 seconds afterwards, I can feel something starting in my chest. At first you're not sure exactly what the feeling is, but you damn sure know SOMETHING is coming. The only way I can describe the feeling is that all your muscles tighten quickly and then immediately become completely relaxed. The feeling starts in your chest and moves throughout your whole body in a matter of seconds. The rush lasts about a minute and can only be described as heaven on earth.. I am left with a warm feeling throughout my body and a euphoria that comes in waves, especially when closing and opening the eyes (nodding). The high is similar to oxycodone, but is not nearly as sedating and hydromorphone is more euphoric in my opinion." (IV Hydromorphone User)

"I began to feel this rush, this sensation traveling all throughout my body. I welcomed this warm, pleasant sensation to reach every part of my body, relieving all tension, pain, and stress that were present beforehand. I was very pleased with this dosage, and I had wanted to voice it, however I was in just too much bliss to do so. I constantly thought to myself during this that I was peaking, only to be submerged even deeper into the opiate ocean." (Intranasal Hydromorphone User)

"Not but 3 seconds later did I get the most intense rush that took my whole body by storm. Initially, it's like every muscle in my body contracted, starting with my throat and quickly spreading to the rest of me, and then released and became completely relaxed. The 'rush' I call this lasts only 5-10 seconds or so but I find it to be the single most pleasurable drug effect I've ever felt. After the initial rush, a warm wave of pleasure took over my whole being; the day's aches and worries gone in a flash." (IV Hydromorphone User)

“The euphoria is gorgeous, as it’s a BEAUTIFUL cool spring day outside, and im using this experience doing yard sculpting, (flowers, art, etc).. I had to come in and sit down cause I kept getting the nods, nods so good I feel as though i get a few hours of sleep... I started nodding about 20 minutes after ingestion..” (Oral Hydromorphone User)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Heroin In the US (Overview of The Modern Market)

Southeast Asia (Burma), Middle East Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan), South America (Colombia) and Mexico: Each of these source areas has dominated the US heroin market at some point since the 1960's.

While Asian countries historically have fed European and American markets, virtually all heroin produced in South and Central America is destined for the US.

Over the last decade, we've seen a dramatic shift in the heroin trade; South American and to a lesser extent Mexican suppliers, traditionally known for their cocaine and commercial cannabis, have increased poppy cultivation and heroin production, and with lower prices have taken over the US market with white and brown powder and tar heroin.

On a much smaller scale, heroin from Southwest and Southeast Asia is still shipped by postage courier or trans-atlantic flight, or smuggled by chinese, middle eastern, or sometimes west african trafficking networks; It is distributed throughout the eastern part of the US. Southeast and Southwest Asian distribution is often managed by ethnic chinese, or mideastern organizations. Naturally, its availability is often limited to cities with significant subcultures of ethnic chinese and mideasterners; this includes the city of Chicago, which is known for its diverse market.
In the northeast and along the east coast, high purity South American powder dominates the market. South American heroin is the most common product everywhere east of the Mississippi, and has the highest street level purity on average (especially on the east coast), followed by SE and SW Asian heroin. New York City is the country's major heroin hub, and feeds markets throughout the northeast and new england area. Distribution in the east and northeast is managed often by gangs/groups of Dominican Nationals. Aside from NYC, Miami and Chicago supply cities of the southeast and midwest, respectively. . The heroin available in non metropolitan areas generally originates from whichever of these cities is closest.

In the midwest, Mexican heroin dominates the trade; in the form of black tar or brown powder (which according to many is sometimes a diluted form of black tar). Mexican heroin has been available in the East US, but only on an inconsistent basis, on a small scale. Independent or family owned mexican distribution networks more recently have dispatched couriers and distributors to smaller cities of the midwest US, where they distribute low priced black tar heroin, to fill unmet demand in out of the way areas.
Heroin enters the US from Mexico by private aircraft, cargo and freight services, migrant workers or immigrants, and vehicle. Vehicles enter the country in Texas, Arizona, or California, specific sites of entry including El Paso, Laredo, Del Rio, San Luis, Mexicali, and Tijuana. Entry by vehicle seems risky; but in the bigger picture, US Customs seize only a portion of the flow, leading traffickers to throw more product at the issue. Some South American organizations use an entirely different entry point, such as Miami, in which case shipments are transported by couriers (typically white tourists) through international flight or boat.

Once inside the border, shipments are handed over to well entrenched distribution networks (often by a "blind drop") who transport the drug to the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City.

Often straight off the brick or kilo, heroin is sold - relatively pure & in wholesale quantities - to retail level distributors. These retail sellers may be from within the metropolitan area or the surrounding suburbs. They often also come from other cities often hours away, making the trip to pick up several grams, to a few hundred grams, or more. This is often relatively pure heroin, which gets plenty of mileage especially when processed and cut. Most of the rocks are broken down, the powder is sifted, and typically diluted. Dope is then sold at a street level, or sold in larger quantities to low level leechers (who often cut the dope to very low levels).

The highest purity heroin is generally south american. The purest in the country is usually seen on the East coast, especially throughout NYC, NJ, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Asian heroin is a close second in purity level, while mexican powder heroin is generally the lowest. The national average for street level dope is currently close to 40%, with bad dope being as low as 5 to 15%, and quality dope reaching the 70s or 80s, though there are isolated instances of purity reaching the 90's.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Heroin For the Novice - Key Questions & Answers


Some common questions and misconceptions regarding the world's most misunderstood psychoactive.


Where does heroin come from?

Maps Show World Opium Production: Click to Zoom
Countries in black letters supply global heroin trade
US government and media have singled out Afghanistan and the Mideast in recent years, as if to imply that Middle-Eastern heroin is flooding our streets. This is likely an attempt to create a perceived connection between heroin and "terror" in the popular mind. Though Afghanistan still produces a majority of the world's illicit opium supply, large quantities of Asian heroin do not reach the US market. The overwhelming majority of mideastern & southeastern opium is consumed in Europe in the form of smokeable heroin base or its injectable hydrochloride salt.

Most of the heroin available in the United States originates from Mexico or South America. Users in the eastern and central US typically see south american powder, often originating from colombia, but mexican brown powder does exist as well. Users in the Southwest and Midwest typically use heroin in the form of mexican black tar (and occasionally powder). South American heroin is generally driven north through Mexico and into the US; then driven to the major hub cities of Chicago, NYC, and Miami. Mexican heroin simply traverses the border to key distribution points in the Southwest; including El Paso, San Diego, or Los Angeles.

How pure is street heroin?

Purity varies greatly, and there are so many conflicting reports. Purity of black tar is not so much relevant, as diluting the product is difficult, and the product is manufactured as a mixture of opioids. Purity of powder heroin varies by geographical area. After production, the more it passes hands, the lesser the purity will be.

Manufacturers hand the product off to DTO's (Drug Trafficking Organizations), Typically mexican cartels, while the DTO's smuggle the product just across the border into Texas or California. The heroin is typically left at a predetermined location and picked up by a distributor. Distributors often cut the dope and many create new rocks in order to make the product appear less stepped on. The distributor acts as a middleman. Next, the dope may be bought by the ounce or in portions of a kilo by; a) street dealers, who then may cut the product to shit to increase the profit margin; and then sell it by the gram, bundle, or bag. or b) Other distributors - other middle men - who sell to a third middle man (and so on, down the chain).

Common sense would dictate the closer one lives to a major distribution area, the lesser the dope will have been cut by multiple parties, and the higher the purity will be. Heroin in NYC and Chicago averages on the high end, sometimes as high as a 60 to 70 percent range, while heroin in small towns, suburbs, and rural areas will average low (as low 10 to 15 percent). A government agency recently cited a wide range of 10 to 70%, and a national average near 40%.

What is the difference between black tar heroin and powder heroin?


As stated two questions prior, black tar is technically speaking, not heroin. Black tar is a mixture of heroin, morphine, 6-AM, and other minor intermediates. It is produced by small mobile laboratories (more like kitchens), typically near the poppy fields, by mexicans with limited resources. Black tar often appears in a form similar to hashish, and is sold in the west and midwest US often packages in balloons.

Heroin in the US typically appears as a white to brown powder, either flaky & fine or in chunks. Black tar appears as a dark brown to black sticky substance with a fluid to gummy to solid consistency; often tar-like. Both forms can be heated and smoked. Both forms can be used intravenously, but powder heroin may be less hazardous by this route. Black tar is obviously harder to cut, while powder is easily cut. Black tar appears mostly in the west, while powder appears in the east.

Black tar when injected is likely to cause more histamine induced pins and needles than powder heroin, due to a higher content of morphine. Some prefer tar while other prefer heroin powder.

Is heroin more euphoric than morphine and other opiates?

Euphoria is a subjective term. In one study in post IV narcotic habituates, heroin was shown to be 1.8 to 2.6x more potent than morphine when it came to subjective opioid effects. Its potency as an analgesic is nearly identical (i.e. heroin is 1.5 to 3x more potent than morphine as a painkiller).

Though clinical experience suggests that even when able to identify which opioid they were injected with, users showed no real preference for one or the other. Other research has shown that heroin produced a similar capacity of euphoria to morphine in equianalgesic doses; with a similar ratio of analgesic to euphoric potency, but lesser incidence of nausea and itching.

Many users swear to the notion that heroin is superior to morphine as a euphoriant, and as far as the rush during initial onset is concerned; this is most likely the case. But the period of narcosis following this shortlived onset is essentially equivalent in origin and intensity to morphine. All this to say; if the rush is a major factor in your opinion on a drug's euphoric merit, heroin is superior to morphine. While rush aside, the drugs are essentially interchangeable in their degree of 'pleasantry'.

What are cutting agents and filling agents?

Powdered sugar or milk, starch, lactose, talcum powder - Cutting agents

Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Diphenhydramine, Crushed T3's - Filling agensts

Basically, cutting agents are inert, inactive substances used simply to add bulk, while fillers are usually pharmacologically active agents used in an attempt to add bulk while adding to heroin's analgesic or sedative effects.

Sometimes I get heroin that gives me terrible pins and needles. This doesn't always happen, and some say it's from the morphine content. How does morphine get into a heroin batch?

Illicit heroin is never completely pure. Even fresh after synthesis, all clandestinely produced heroin contains a portion of impurities from the manufacturing process; most likely morphine, 6-acetylmorphine, codeine, and 6-acetylcodeine.The impurities are due to either a) a sloppy extraction of morphine from opium which contains some codeine, or b) an incomplete reaction of the morphine base, leaving some of the product unacetylated, and some only partially acteylated (as in 6-AM).
 
Some batches of heroin are well refined, containing minimal intermediates, while other batches contain a large percentage of morphine, codeine, 6-acetylmorphine, and even 6-acetylcodeine. The imperfections of heroin are not necessarily a bad thing; some enjoy the kick provided by a spectrum of opiates rather than one entity alone. Black tar heroin is preferred by some for just this purpose.
 
Technically, black tar heroin is not actually heroin at all - in merely contains heroin - along with morphine, 6-acetylmorphine, and possibly traces of codeines. Black tar is simply a semi-processed, makeshift injectable product containing an array of morphine-type alkaloids. Some can discriminate the effects of black tar from regular heroin, while others perceive no difference.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eurojunk: Revised


This might certainly be an instance of "grass always being greener" across the pond, however, just as US citizens have access to opiates like hydrocodone and oxycodone which many Euro's don't, our brothers and sisters across the pond have access to a few of the more renowned and notorious potent opioids available for human consumption. In essence, us Americans might have the Holy Grail (oxy and hydro), but our European counterparts have the Ark of the Covenant.

Europe has a history as not only home to the invention of many blockbuster narcotics, but has a history of allowing the licit use of potent and highly prized opioids in therapy, drugs which are agressively withheld from even terminal patients in the US.

The following narcotics have a history of use throughout Europe, and though some have become less widely used and largely fallen out of favor, most remain available to an extent; not only for the sick and suffering, but also for the self medicating habituate (as maintenance drugs). We envy you, Europe.

Diconal (Dipipanone) & Palfium (Dextromoramide)


Dipipanone is an extremely strong opioid which has long fallen out of favor in the European countries where it has been used. "Diconal" is the main preparation; a pinkish colored tablet for oral use containing dipipanone as well as the antihistamine drug cyclizine, which both amplifies the narcotic effects and attenuates nausea and vomiting. Few Doctors are willing to prescribe this drug currently. In the 70's and 80's, Diconal was the narcotic of choice for serious smackheads. Those who tried it preferred it to heroin in many (if not most) cases. Where heroin is the holy grail of opiates, Dipipanone is the ark of the covenant. The combination of dipipanone & cyclizine, when injected into a vein, is said to produce the one of the greatest rushes of opiate bliss known to man, and is equally among the most reinforcing and thus, addictive opioids known. Dipipanone is molecularly related to methadone, very similar structure, but more suited for parenteral use, and thus superior to methadone for use by recreational users.

Dextromoramide is best known by it's brand name "Palfium" - Peach colored tablets available in 5 and 10mg dosages. Palfium, like Diconal, is an older opioid (in a clinical sense) which has fallen out of favor among some physicians due in part to its high tendency for misuse. The drug is three times stronger than morphine and very fast acting, even by the oral route. This made it a drug of choice for sudden onset cancer pain. Effects of an oral dose of dextromoramide generally take effect within 10 minutes and last 2 to 3 hours. According to one user, "This drug is known primarily for two things - dirty hits and overdoses. For some reason, Palfium seems to be very unpredictable. You can use say four one day, then, the following day you just try three and end up having turned blue and slumped against a wall."

Advice to anyone who plans to inject this drug: Sit down quick before you hit the floor like a brick. This is said to be some intense shit, and is often preferred over heroin for recreational use. Palfium was used in Europe much as Dilaudid is used in the states today, and has much of the same appeal to smackheads.
Both Diconal and Palfium are now considered novelty items on the streets, both are superior to heroin, but "rare as hens teeth".

Ketobemidone

Ketobemidone, most commonly known as Ketogan; another drug licensed for use in Europe and never seen in the US. It's chemically related to pethidine (aka Demerol) but from what I hear it's effects are superior. This drug is slightly stronger than morphine and extremely euphoric. Ketobemidone like methadone blocks the NMDA receptor and is usually effective for severe pain which other opioids do not sufficiently alleviate. Withdrawal from ketobemidone has beem described as "the worst detox imaginable", and may be dangerous in heavy users without supervision or comfort meds. 5 to 10 mg by mouth is the typical reccomended dose. Effects last 4 to 6 hours. Ketogan was withdrawn from the market in a number of countries and is now mainly used in Denmark, or other scandinavian nations.

An opioid user describes her experience with ketogan tablets:

"I used both Ketogan Novum (Ketobemidone)--[5mg tablets] & Ketogan (Ketobemidone + antispasmotic)-- [10mg suppositories]. Both were taken as prescribed (tabs by mouth, and supps. by rectal), and I confirm that these are very potent, VERY euphoric & pleasurable opiates. Among the best I have ever tried. And I have tried quite a few..."

"Strawberry Milkshakes" (Methadone & Cyclizine Combo)

To replicate the effects of the Diconal rush, users often mix methadone (known as physeptone in Europe) with cyclizine or a similar sedative-antihistamine, in either a single shot for injection, or as a single oral cocktail. The effect is similar to that of Diconal. This practice is especially dangerous especially when injecting.

Methadone

Methadone I believe is not given all the credit it's due. A little more on this drug..

During the era of WWII, widespread efforts were in place to produce synthetic narcotics which did not rely on the opium poppy. Following the inception of pethidine, chemists soon discovered a drug which was stronger than morphine, possibly more efficient, and much longer acting. It was one of a series of open chain structured narcotics, which came to include dextromoramide and dipipanone.

After the war ended, the US gained custody of the patent, and it was eventually made available for use as a crash course trial of sorts, marketed by the Eli Lily company as the painkiller "Dolophine". It was not until decades later that researchers studied the use of the drug in addicts as a substitute for heroin or other opiates, finding it to be effective in attenuating morphine withdrawal and in some cases, reducing drug related crime. The notion that methadone is inferior in terms of "rush & high" is for the most part anecdote. The soul basis for this misbelief is the longer acting onset and duration of methadone, which means its effects come on gradually rather than rapidly. Clinical experience has shown that the subjective effects of methadone are essentially indistinguishable in nature to those of orally administered heroin and morphine when taken by the average user. In other words, there is no inferiority in methadone's ability to produce positive subjective effects, compared to any other opioid taken orally. One's taste for other opiates over methadone is completely subjective, and merely a matter of personal preference. The instantaneous rush experienced with rapid onset is representative of a very minor portion of a narcotic's postivie effects, and is sought more so by compulsive, weak willed addicts than by casual users, self medicating users, or patients.

Methadone is especially euphoric in my experience, when used in moderation. As tolerance develops, euphoric effect becomes less pronounced, but returns with a corresponding increase in dose. The key is keeping up with the tolerance, and tweaking the dose accordingly. This disappearance in rush or euphoria seen with increasing tolerance is not unique to methadone, but occurs with all narcotics.

Nicomorphine & Diamorphine

Among the available opium derived narcotics are a series of morphine esters; meaning these drugs are morphine derivatives with ester groups attatched to the 3 and/or 6 positions. These morphine analogues vary mainly with the type of ester group used; heroin is an acetate ester, while nicomorphine is a nicotinate ester. Either way, nicomorphine and diamorphine are both lipophilic strong opioids.

Diamorphine has similar medicinal value to morphine and its effects in proper doses are non toxic; nevertheless, the drug is banned in most countries of the world, with a small handfull of exceptions. "Heroin" is reported by authorities in the US and other countries to have no redeeming qualities and no medicinal value. Heroin use for severe pain, much less for pleasure, is officially tabboo. European countries break the mold; diamorphine remains a recognized treatment for acute and chronic pain and is used effectively in patients of all ages. It is prescibed in the same way morphine is prescribed elsewhere; given as a solution for injection, a powder or liquid for nasal administration, and tablets for oral use. Better yet, heroin maintenance programs are catching on internationally, allowing habituates to receive clean pharmaceutical supplies of the drug along with clean syringes for injection.

Nicomorphine is twice as potent as morphine by weight, and similar in most respects to diamorphine. Its rapid penetration of the brain leads to a more intense rush than with morphine upon injection into a vein. It is given as a solution for injection, a suppository for the ass, or a tablet for oral use. A typical dose range is up to 5mg by injection, or 5 to 10mg by mouth or anus. Though nicomorphine is rarely encountered on the illicit market, it can be produced at home from morphine tablets processed with nicotinic anhydride (the same is true for heroin, which requires acetic anhydride rather than nicotinic anhydride). This process is employed by users and addicts and the finished product is known as homebake.

Nicomorphine's effects resemble those of heroin, and are indistinguishable from diamorphine when given dose proportionately. The two are nearly equipotent as painkillers, and effects last 3 to 6 hours depending on the dose.
 
I would like to hear from ANYONE who has personal experience with any of these opioids! Reports on such drugs are extremely few and far between. Any general review of the effects of such drugs compared to say, other opioids like morphine; for instance, sedating? stimulating? euphoric or not so much? subtle or pronounced? body buzz or more of a psyche high? side effects? duration? onset and rush?




Kratom Pt 1 - What is Kratom?


(Also known as mitragyna speciosa, ketum, and korth)

Kratom is a plant of the rubiaceae species. The Rubiaceae family is a large species of flowering plants which include the coffea plant - the shrub or small tree from which coffee beans and coffee originate - and of course, kratom.

Rubiaceae plants, like kratom, thrive in the warm, tropical climates of southeast asia, and are a major world export product in many of these countries. Kratom occurs naturally in the lush jungle and rainforests, and is cultivated by peasant farmers. Major sources include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, & Bali; all in Tropical Southeast Asia

General

Kratom is a medicinal leaf of the the plant known botanically as Mitragyna Speciosa, a tree of the Rubiaceae family (which includes the coffee bean plant). It was originally discovered by the Dutch botanist Pieter Korthals.

The trees may grow as high as 12 to 30 feet, and occasionally higher (some have been known to grow two to three times higher). The plant produces unique looking flowers; which grow in clusters and appear as globular bright yellow heads composed of dozens of florets. The leaves are very large, typically growing up to 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. The leaves are alkaloid rich and are the source of the plant's psychotherapeutic properties.

Kratom is used for its stimulating, relaxing, and painkilling properties. The kratom leaf contains several alkaloids of the indole variety, some of which share properties similar to tryptamine compounds such as yohimbine as well as the opiate compounds such as codeine or morphine. Though not related to the opium poppy, a number of kratom's alkaloids are pharmacologically active as opioid agonists, sharing some pharmacology similar to morphine.

Alkaloids

Though there are dozens of active alkaloids which contribute to kratom's pharmacological effect, a small handful have been shown to play a significant role in its subjective effects. Kratom's active alkaloids include 7-Hydroxymitragynine, a potent opoid agonist; Mitragynine, a mild opiate agonist and a2-adrenergic agonist; and Mitragynine Psuedoindoxyl, delta agonist. It was believed at one time that kratom's opiate effects were produced primarily by mitragynine, but more recently it was discovered that the much more potent alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine is likely the main source of these effects.

Kratom's alkaloids contribute to its pharmacology in the following ways: The major opioid compound 7-Hydroxymitragynine, occurs in small quantities, and acts as a strong opioid agonist binding fairly selectively to mu receptors. Mitragynine is present in the greatest concentration, it exhibits pronounced adrenergic and delta receptor activity in lower doses, but acts more heavily at the mu receptor as doses progress. Mitragynine Psuedoindoxyl is a fairly selective delta receptor agonist and occurs as a degradation product of mintragynine.

7-HydroxyMitragynine is believed to be responsible
for the opiate-like effects of the kratom leaf
Receptor binding assays have shown 7-hydroxymitragynine to act mainly at mu receptors, with a relatively weak affinity for delta and kappa receptors (kratom's delta receptor effects are believed to come from mitragynine and perhaps other alkaloids) Though 7-HM is present in kratom leaf in very small quantities, it has higher affinity than morphine at mu receptors and as an analgesic is 17x more potent by weight.

More information on the pharmacology of these alkaloids can be found here.

Leaf, Powder, Resin, Etc

Kratom is most commonly, and least expensively, sold in leaf form; available as the whole leaf, crushed leaf, or powdered leaf. The more finely ground and concentrated the form, the more potent and less bulky the product, which allows more convenient consumption and eliminates the need to consume many large leaves. Manufacturers now produce various varieties of plant matter, available under different names such as "premium" or "super" grade leaf powder - these can be confusing to consumers, however the fancy terms are simply marketing tactics for different grades of powder consistency; some rough, some fine, some super fine. Manufacturers and vendors sift some of these powders once or more to produce fine consistency. A popular leaf powder known as "premium commercial" is simply a mixture of commercial grade powder and a fine "premium" grade powder. As with most other substances, refining the consistency of kratom powder improves the GI tract's absorbtion of the product.

15X Kratom Extract
More recently, kratom extracts have been produced, increasing potency and price, while decreasing bulk. Extracts do not contain plant material, but are simply an 'extracted' resinous material (powder or tar-like) containing numerous alkaloids. The "full spectrum" extract is a traditional powderized extract which contains the whole spectrum of kratom's active alkaloids, rather than a more specific or concentrated extract which might contain only certain major alkaloids. Another popular extract is the "15x" extract. This does not mean that the product is "15 times stronger" than the leaf, but that it is 15x more refined, meaning 15 times higher of a concentration. A 15x powder represents in simple terms - "the potency of kratom leaf in 1/15th the bulk" - Therefore, 1 kilogram of the 15x powder represents 15 kilos of the whole leaf powder.

Again, extracts do not include plant material, but are water or alcohol extracted resins available in powders, infused powders, and solid-sticky tars.

More recently, a pure liquid solution of 7-Hydroxymitragynine (the potent opioid compound), has become available for purchase, and is sold through a few reputable internet vendors as a research chem.

I am short on time at the moment; I will continue once I return, with the various strains of kratom leaf, and the effects of kratom its various strains and forms.


Monday, September 12, 2011

God's Own Medicine Pt II - Revised

What is Opium?

Opium Poppy
Opium is a naturally occuring latex produced biochemically within the seed pod walls of the opium poppy; a flower which is known by its botanical name papaver somniferum. Opium occurs throughout most of the plant, but is most highly concentrated within the walls of the seed pod, reaching peak levels shortly after the flower petals have dried and fallen from the plant. Opium has a long history of use dating back to ancient times, long before the pharmacological advances which facilitated the extraction of its derivatives. It has has been historically used therapeutically and casually for its analgesic, anxiolytic, antidepressive, and soothing euphoric properties.

Opium Latex in its crude form
Morphine is the primary constituent of opium and was the first pscyhoactive alkaloid ever extracted from a plant source. It generally occurs in concentrations up to 12 percent; however many plants have been bio-engineered by the pharmaceutical industry to produce morphine at concentrations as high as 20 percent or more. Aside from morphine, opium contains modest concentrations of codeine and thebaine. Thebaine produces no narcotic effects and is not directly used in medicine, but its molecular structure makes it useful as a precursor for the production of many semi-synthetic narcotics, some of which are analogues to morphine and codeine.


Opium & Opiate Production

The opium poppy can grow in any area with a reasonable climate, and is cultivated in Europe, North America, and elsewhere as strictly a garden flower or as an opium source for personal use.

Opium for the pharma-industry is mass produced mainly in countries throughout the Mid-East, Far-East, and the South Pacific, where peasant poppy farms produce opium clandestinely for the illicit market, or authorized farms operate under contract with pharmaceutical and chemical firms (these include the American companies Mallinckrodt and Johnson & Johnson).

Opium is the crude starting source for many opiates both licit and illicit. The term "narcotic" is classicaly used to refer to the natural, synthetic, and semi synthetic compounds with opium-like properties. The broad term "opioid" may be used interchangeably with the term narcotic. All natural or semi synthetic morphine-codeine analogues rely on the opium poppy for production; more specifically, crude opium latex, or concentrated poppy straw. Initially, morphine and thebaine are extracted from the latex or plant material, and then either refined as is, or further processed to produce semi synthetic narcotics. More on this below.
Harvest and Manufacture...

The traditional method of gathering opium from poppies involves slicing shallow incisions into the wall of the seed pod and allowing the fluid to slowly ooze from the incisions eventually drying, forming a thick solid or gum-like substance. This method has been used for many years, but is quite labor intensive and often leaves portions of unused alkaloid content within the plants. In India, this aforementioned method is used by farmers to supply crude opium for pharmaceutical use.

Following extraction of the harvest, peasants can make use of the remaining straw in a number of ways; the seeds are removed from the pods and contracted for culinary use, or sewn for the next harvest. The dried stalks and pod material (i.e. poppy straw) are often sold to small business or licensed chemists; who extract residual alkaloid content for use in their own products; generally mild opiate based tinctures, elixirs, or pills.

 A more modern production method is used in Tasmania, and technically does not require "opium", per se. This method involves mowing and grinding the entire plant and processing the straw into an alkaloid rich concentrate of poppy straw (or CPS). CPS is then shipped to drug manufacturing facilities where morphine and thebaine are isolated and extracted; the morphine may be used in morphine medications, or may be further processed (as with thebaine) into other opiates including codeine. This process may be applied to the traditional opium poppy, or the patented 'thebaine only' poppy - In either case, the alkaloids are extracted directly from the straw, and further processed to pure opiate compounds. Below is a simple outline of how the alkaloids of opium and poppy straw are processed...
Morphine is Processed To: Morphine Medications, Codeine, Heroin, Hydromorphone, Nicomorphine

Thebaine is Processed To: Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Oripavine, Etorphine, Buprenorphine, Dihydroetorphine

Codeine: Occurs in such small amounts that it is not regularly used. Most pharmaceutical codeine is produced from morphine; Codeine is a methylated version of morphine (Also known as Methylmorphine)


An in depth look at licit Indian opium production can be found here .

An overview of the more modern method of opiate production in Tasmania can be found here .


Opium Use and Its Effects

The effects of pure opium are primarily the result of morphine and codeine content. One gram of raw opium may commonly contain 60 to 120 milligrams of morphine; with the lethal dose range being 120 to 250 milligrams. Typical opioid effects are experienced; Sedation, somnolence, itching, flushing, anxiolysis and analgesia, euphoria and increase in mood, miosis (pin pupils), supression of cough reflex, constipation and decrease in sexual function. Opium may be either swallowed in raw-solid or liquid form, or smoked. Smoking the substance allows it to rapidly reach the brain within seconds, however, much of the substance is destroyed by heat and secondhand smoke.

Poppy Tea - A Practical Alternative

Poppy Straw
For peasant farmers in Asia or elsewhere, there is another possible use for the aforementioned plant material, which could be quite lucrative. Dried poppy staw (referred to by many simply as "pods") have become a popular opiate source for american and european narcotic users, typically in the form of a tea.

The dried material (stems included) is chopped and ground into powder, also known by some as "Doda". The powdered straw is then steeped in hot water and (often slightly acidified with lemon or lime), extracting the alkaloids. The solution is strained and then ready for use. It may be prepared with sugar or honey to mask the taste, which users report as very bitter and earthy. Poppy tea is usually light brown to off-white or yellow in color. Poppy tea contains a full spectrum of alkaloids. The desired effects are similar to that of raw opium, and are produced mainly by morphine and codeine. Poppy tea takes effect within 30 to 60 minutes and generally last 6 to 8 hours, though some commonly report effects which linger well into the next day. Effects include the usual anxiolysis, relaxation, positive mood & euphoria, somnolence, body high, itching, flushing, miosis, nausea or vomiting, constipation, and respiratory depression.
Poppy Seed

Many of the poppy seeds used in culinary and baking originate from pharmaceutical crops. The seeds themselves contain trace amounts of morphine and codeine on their surface, which may be present in very small to very significant quantities, depending on how well the seeds were cleaned. In addition to the seeds themselves, the product generally contains alkaloid ridden, unsifted plant matter especially when sold in bulk. Poppy seeds can be obtained in bulk quantities of one or several kilograms; and using the same process used with poppy pod tea, the alkaloids can be leeched from the seeds. The finished product is a tea similar to that of pod tea, with the very same type of effect. Seed extract tea may be just as potent as pod extract tea when large quantities of dirty seeds are used.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Clarifications To Those Who Question Drug Legalization

Questions to Legalization Proponents (Along with some intelligent answers)

Jacob Sullum of Reason Magazine wrote a 1995 article which discussed the DEA's 1994 Official Citizens Debating Manual against legalization. In this article, he summarized several key questions which legalization advocates are often asked by prohibitionists, generally in a rhetorical context -These represent important clarifications that would need to be made in the event of drug legalization, yet most prohibitionists who rhetorically present us with these questions do so because they don't expect us to have any clear answer; they are intended to serve as a means of pointing out the "naiivety" and "simplicity" of the movement for legalization. I however, have summarized practical answers to each of these questions, and believe most any well educated individual could readily answer these questions as well. For those who have not given much thought to the feasability of a widescale drug legalization, these clarifications may serve as a guide.




"Should all drugs be legalized?"

Ideally, the controlled substances act of 1970 will be repealed, along with all similar legislation leading up to it starting with the 1914 harrison act.

"Will they be limited only to people over eighteen?"

Recreational drugs would be regulated just like tobacco or alcohol, and ideally restricted to 21 and over (possibly 18 and over). Valid ID would be required upon purchase.

"Who will sell drugs? The Government? Private companies?"

Drugs such as opium, coca leaf, and their derivatives would most likely be marketed just like tobacco, coffee, or alcohol, and may even be marketed by tobacco or alcohol companies. They may additionally be marketed as components of certain novelty food or beverage items. These might include tea (such as opium or coca teas), candy and gum (most candy or chocolate products contain caffeine), which would be regulated/restricted just as the pure drugs themselves. Many of the currently illicit drugs which have additional value medicinally, aside from being sold as recreational products, may also be marketed by pharmaceutical firms for prescription or over the counter use.

"Who is liable for damages caused by drug use and the activities of those taking drugs?"

Those who consume drugs in a way which harms or significantly risks harm to others will be personally liable for their behavior, and may be held criminally liable as well; such as in the case of public nuisance or intoxication, intoxicated and disorderly conduct, underage possession or consumption, or visibly impaired driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Likewise, those who commit crimes while under the influence of drugs shall obviously be held responsible for their behavior, which should be judged by its own merit - i.e. judge criminals by their actions, nothing else.

"How will a black market for cheaper drugs be controlled?"

Black markets for alcohol and tobacco have not been a significant problem, nor are such operations significantly common. However, illicit sales may be dealt with the same as the illicit sales of other such drugs. Preferably, these operations would be dealt with through fines or civil action rather than prosecution and imprisonment; the exception being those operations which engage in sale to underage consumers.

"How will absenteeism and loss of productivity be addressed?"

Drug induced stupor or incompetency by workers shall be dealt with by the employers, or by law enforcement and the courts if applicable - for instance, one whose heavy cocaine use has impaired his performance at work may face administrative action by his employer, while a school bus driver who operates the bus while impaired will face sanctions by his employer, in addition to possible prosecution if he drives while impaired.

"Will legal drugs require prescriptions?"

This will depend not on the particular drug, but more on its particular formulation, or the individual purpose of each product. Drugs which are deemed to be useful in medicine may be available in various forms; as medically formulated products obtained by prescription, as over the counter therapeutic products, and as casual recreational products, with a product's specific formulation determining the product's availability. Highly concentrated or Injectable forms may likely be reserved for medicinal use, while less concentrated oral forms and other such items may be obtained without a prescription as either medications or recreational drugs. Certain drugs which may have limited medicinal value would obviously be sold primarily as recreational substances, and may or may not be available in prescription or over the counter medication form. With prescription use products, physicians would prescribe these drugs just as they do currently; however due to the availability of non prescription narcotics and stimulants, many of those who do not require extreme dosages or injectable forms may conveniently treat themselves with these over the counter formulations, just as is done with tylenol or aspirin (which are available in higher dose by prescription as well). For example, in the case of a patient with a noncancer chronic pain condition, a Physician would obviously have the ability to either write a prescription for 100ug/hour Duragesic patches or Buprenex injections, or simply reccomend the use of non prescription analgesics including morphine or oxycodone tablets, or perhaps marijuana in some cases.