Sunday, January 09, 2005

Fears of New Synthetic Drugs

A doctor in Australia is afraid that a new generation of synthetic drugs, just now beginning to hit the market, will be even more dangerous than the existing stuff. Here's a great article from the Australian newspaper, The Advertiser. I've boldfaced the particularly intersting stuff.

Danger alert as synthetic drugs on way

By Youth Affairs Reporter CARA JENKIN

STRONGER synthetic varieties of drugs will become increasingly available in South Australia, as drug use becomes less the domain of the nightclub scene, posing an even greater risk of harm to users, a British drug expert has warned.

Dr John Marsden, senior lecturer in addictive behaviour at the National Addiction Centre in London, is in Adelaide for a one-day seminar and workshop today to teach service providers about the emerging drugs in Britain, which are expected to be available in Australia in the next year.

Dr Marsden is particularly concerned with the prevalence of methamphetamine in SA - a formulation only now taking hold among users in Britain - given the strength of the new drugs becoming available.

But he said there are very few differences between the London and Adelaide drug scenes, despite the population differences, with the number of people using synthetic drugs increasing.

The most recent Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2001 found 6.1 per cent of Australians have used ecstasy or other designer drugs, up 1.3 per cent from 1998.

Those who have used amphetamines increased by 0.1 per cent to 8.9 per cent, while cannabis and hallucinogen use dropped by 6 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.

"The club phenomenon is all but finished and ecstasy will fade out in the next five years, replaced by new synthetic alternatives," Dr Marsden said.

"Australian services need an understanding of what's coming to give them an early warning and scope out the horizon of what the next storm front is."

Linked to four deaths so far in Britain is 2CI, while other strong amphetamines on the market include 2CB and 4-MTA, also known as Flatliner. DMT, also known as "businessman's lunch", leaves users collapsed in a trance-like state for half an hour, making it a convenient ecstasy alternative, without producing the typical eight-hour high associated with other amphetamines.

Dr Marsden said a relatively new trend to mix drugs with alcohol to heighten the experience also was increasing the risks.

"I predict there will be very little organic drugs in 20 to 25 years time and it will be hard to get rid of synthetic drugs because they are manufactured in the laboratory," he said.

1 comment:

Vadergrrrl said...

This is an amazing post Beth. thank you for this information.