i want a new drug 1 that won't make me sick 1 that won't make me crash my car or make me feel 3 ft thick
A Fentanyl Primer.
It turns out Fentanyl was the main active ingredient in the gas the Russian police piped into the Moscow theater seized by Chechen nationalists/separatists.
The Moscow theatre hostage crisis was the seizure on October 23, 2002 of a crowded Moscow theatre by armed Chechen men and women who claimed allegiance to the separatist movement in Chechnya. They took over 900 hostages and demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. After a siege of two and a half days, Russian Spetsnaz ("special forces") raided the building with the assistance of an unidentified "knockout gas". All of the 42 terrorists were killed, along with 130 of the hostages, with no Spetsnaz casualties.
Down below, after a Musical Interlude, an interesting article about the status of Fentanyl gas as a new police/military tool in the international law of chemical weapons.
Then two U.S. newspaper articles reflecting, or claiming to reflect, a recent wave of overdose deaths in the USA which law-enforcement authorities are blaming on Fentanyl diversion, theft and abuse.
The newest Horror Plague Scourge Scary Killer Drug du Jour in the US War On Drug's law-enforcement/media/political cycle. Ultimately each frightening new drug results in larger budgets passed by state and federal legislatures for drug police particularly heavy on the paramilitary, and more new criminal laws, with longer mandatory minimum prison sentences, for prosecutors. Politically, each scary new drug du jour is like a little Red Scare or a mini-911 -- lots of government and elected officials encourage hysteria, because they know how to make money and increase their political power out of these little hurricanes of national hysteria.
It's also a hot story for the media, with enormous potential for scary graphics and terrifying headlines; headline writers on the finest newspapers get to Go Tabloid on the Front Page Above the Fold for a few months. It will be years -- and several subsequent Scary New Drugs -- before the media ever sobers up and holds itself accountable for actual factual accuracy and an authentic sense of proportion and perspective about the actual public health impact of the Scary New Drug du Jour. By then it will be Ancient History and beyond the horizon of influencing legislation and policy.
These cycles -- at least one per year -- have been going on, with the same mechanical characteristics [insert name of scary new drug here], since the Nixon administration.
The wiggling 3D Fentanyl molecule is a little on the cheesy side, but it's the only wiggler I could find. The other wiggler -- some sort of oscillating chemical bond (AMY!!!) -- is just up there because I thought it was cool. Vleeptron hopes they wiggle for you.
In a previous post, I wrote about losing 20 minutes of my waking memory -- I still have no recollection whatsover about what the hell happened to me -- when I had hose-cams shoved up my Lower Wazoo and down my Upper Wazoo a few months ago. Fentanyl, it turned out, was one of the Party Favors. I'd tell you it was a great drug, but for the life of me I can't remember what the heck it was like.
Agence-Vleeptron Presse may ask Vladimir/StereoBalls, AV-P's Man On The Ground, about the Spetznaz and the Fentanyl gas and the Moscow theater siege, but he has already indicated he doesn't like politics.
This isn't politics. This is chemistry.
I want a new drug One that won't make me sick One that won't make me crash my car Or make me feel three feet thick
I want a new drug One that won't hurt my head One that won't make my mouth too dry Or make my eyes too red
One that won't make me nervous Wonderin' what to do One that makes me feel Like I feel when I'm with you When I'm alone with you
I want a new drug One that won't spill One that don't cost too much Or come in a pill
I want a new drug One that won't go away One that won't keep me up all night One that won't make me sleep all day
One that won't make me nervous Wonderin' what to do One that makes me feel Like I feel when I'm with you I'm alone with you I'm alone with you, baby
I want a new drug One that does what it should One that won't make me feel too bad One that won't make me feel too good
I want a new drug One with no doubt One that won't make me talk too much Or make my face break out
One that won't make me nervous Wonderin' what to do One that makes me feel Like I feel when I'm with you I'm alone with you I'm alone with you, yeah, yeah
HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS - "I Want A New Drug"
OPIATE ENDS HOSTAGE CRISIS
Fentanyl used to incapacitate Chechens
likely doesn't violate chemical arms ban
by LOIS EMBER
Responding to a request for clarification by Rogelio Pfirter, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Russian Health Minister Yuri Shevchenko revealed that an aerosolized opiate based on fentanyl was used to end the recent hostage crisis. The narcotic, normally used as an anesthetic, killed at least 115 of the 750 people taken hostage by Chechen terrorists in a Moscow theater on Oct. 23.
Although Shevchenko didn't mention use of any other agent, German doctors reported finding the anesthetic halothane in body fluid samples taken from two surviving German hostages soon after rescue. Halothane is often used with fentanyl in medical situations.
Arms control experts say the use of fentanyl for law enforcement purposes probably doesn't violate the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Russia has ratified. Its use, however, may widen existing loopholes in the 1997 treaty, which bans the use of chemical weapons in warfare.
Russian officials initially refused to identify -- even to medical personnel treating victims--the gas pumped through the theater's ventilation system, the concentration deployed, or possible antidotes. While not condemning the rescue operation, U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Alexander Vershbow said that "with a little more information, at least a few more of the hostages may have survived."
Jean Pascal Zanders, director of the chemical and biological warfare project at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, suggests several reasons for Russia's reluctance to reveal the toxic chemical used. In addition to the still prevailing culture of secrecy, he says, "Russia may fear that knowledge of what is available to its special forces may aid future terrorists." Also, he adds, Russia "may fear accountability under the CWC."
Through trial and error, Russian doctors found that naloxone, an opiate antagonist, reversed the effects of the then-unknown knockout gas. This fingered an opiate as the likely agent.
As anesthetics, opiates are usually administered by injection and are carefully monitored. Fentanyl, however, is a rapid, short-acting, inhalable narcotic painkiller. Fentanyl-like compounds can induce sleep, cause nausea and vomiting, and, at high concentrations, stop respiration and circulation.
During the 1970s, in a program dubbed ARCADE, the Pentagon researched fentanyl and its chemical cousins as possible riot-control agents, says Matthew S. Meselson, a Harvard University molecular biologist and a chemical weapons expert. Edward Hammond, director of the nonprofit Sunshine Project, says, "The U.S. has been looking at opiates as so-called incapacitating chemical weapons since at least 1994."
Meselson contends that Russia's use of a toxic chemical agent in what is considered a law enforcement situation "is arguably not a violation of the CWC." But, he adds, "the law enforcement section of the treaty, Article II.9(d), needs to be clarified."
That section states that the use of toxic chemicals for "law enforcement, including domestic riot-control purposes" is "not prohibited under this convention." Though the treaty doesn't define law enforcement, Meselson argues that such actions "would require applicable domestic law and the jurisdiction to enforce such law." Both conditions were met by the Moscow situation, he says.
What is unclear is whether the Moscow crisis satisfied the condition for domestic riot-control purposes. Article II.7 defines a riot-control agent as a chemical not listed in the treaty that produces rapid disabling effects that quickly disappear after exposure ends. Clearly, this was not the case in the Russian situation. At press time, hundreds of victims were still hospitalized, several in serious condition.
Zanders says the upcoming 2003 CWC Review Conference will likely have to "clarify the concepts of law enforcement as well as riot-control, peacekeeping, and antiterrorism activities that don't qualify as warfare but do require the use of nonlethal chemical weapons."
Media Awareness Project
US: Scores Of Deaths Blamed On Abuse Of Painkiller Patch
Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jun 2006
Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Copyright: 2006 Rutland Herald
Author: Jeff Douglas, The Associated Press
SCORES OF DEATHS BLAMED ON ABUSE OF PAINKILLER PATCH
ST. LOUIS -- Justin Knox bit down on the bitter-tasting patch, instantly releasing three days' worth of a drug more powerful than morphine. He was dead before he even got to the hospital.
The 22-year-old construction worker and addict was another victim in an apparent surge in U.S. overdoses blamed on abuse of the fentanyl patch, a prescription-only product that is intended for cancer patients and others with chronic pain and is designed to dispense the medicine slowly through the skin.
"I cannot tell you the amount of people I've seen and the creative ways they abuse this drug," said Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, director of the Florida Recovery Center in Gainesville, Fla. "Fentanyl has been abused for years. But recently there has been an increase. I've seen more chewing, squeezing of the drug off the patch and shooting it up."
Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, was introduced in the 1960s, but it was not until the early 1990s that it became available in patch form. Last year, the first generic versions of the patch hit the market.
At least seven deaths in Indiana and four in South Carolina since 2005 have been blamed on abuse of the fentanyl patch, along with more than 100 deaths in Florida in 2004. About a week after Knox's death in Farmington, Mo., in March, a second man in the same county was prescribed the patch legally and died after injecting himself with the gel that he had scraped from it.
Emergency-room visits by people misusing fentanyl shot up nearly 14-fold to 8,000 nationwide between 2000 and 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The figures do not indicate how many of those ER visits were because of the patch.
(In recent months, more than 100 deaths have been reported from Chicago and Detroit to Philadelphia among drug addicts who overdosed on heroin mixed with fentanyl. And federal drug agents believe fentanyl is being made in clandestine labs in Mexico and elsewhere.)
The first fentanyl patch was Duragesic, made by Johnson & Johnson. Sales more than tripled from 2000 to 2004, according to the Pacific Law Center in La Jolla, Calif. Worldwide sales were more than $2 billion in 2004, and half of that was in the U.S., according to the J&J's Web site.
More than 5.7 million prescriptions were written in 2003 for the Duragesic patch, according to IMS Health.
Mark Wolfe, spokesman for PriCari, the J&J unit that oversees Duragesic, said the product comes with strong "black box" warnings about the dangers of abusing Duragesic.
One theory is that addicts are turning to the fentanyl patch because of a government crackdown on abuse of another powerful prescription painkiller, OxyContin, or oxycodone.
"The abuse of oxycodone and the fear of litigation is enough to scare doctors from prescribing it. Duragesic is in vogue, as we've seen over the last year and a half and two years," said Dr. John Brandt, a chronic-pain specialist at the University of Florida.
In Missouri, the man accused of illegally selling the fentanyl patch to Knox has been charged with murder.
"The awareness is just not out there. I had never heard of this patch," said Knox's mother, Rose Marler. "There's a new generation of drugs and people just need to be aware."
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US: Overdoses Rekindle Tainted-Heroin Fears
Pubdate: Sat, 17 Jun 2006
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2006 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
OVERDOSES REKINDLE TAINTED-HEROIN FEARS
At least 12 users fell ill, officials said. "Their next dose of heroin could be their last," a prosecutor warned.
At least a dozen drug addicts overdosed in Camden yesterday, authorities said, stirring fears that another wave of the tainted heroin responsible for more than 100 deaths nationwide has hit the region.
None of the victims died yesterday, though at least two were listed in critical condition at Cooper University Hospital. All fell ill with respiratory distress and seizures after injecting heroin, authorities said.
The killer drug also appears to have returned to other parts of the Philadelphia region. In Chester County, officials said they suspect three people died from the drug last week. They also said toxicology tests confirmed two deaths from the bad heroin that occurred in April and May.
In the Camden cases, the symptoms are similar to the adverse effects felt from the supply of fentanyl-tainted heroin that hit Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware in April. Around a dozen people died then, but the overdoses tapered off toward the end of that month.
Blood tests on the victims yesterday had not been completed, so officials could not say with certainty that the users had injected fentanyl-tainted heroin.
But that didn't stop them from issuing yet another urgent warning to addicts.
"The stakes could not be higher," said James P. Lynch, acting Camden County prosecutor. "They have to understand that their next dose of heroin could be their last."
The Camden victims all overdosed around Broadway, between Mickle Boulevard and Pine Street, an area blocks from Cooper Hospital. They had injected heroin from bags the dealers had branded "100 percent," "Nightmare," "Black Magic" and "Bad Boy."
Two people remained on ventilators after overdosing in Chester, Delaware County, earlier this week. Authorities there blamed those overdoses on fentanyl-laced heroin.
Philadelphia officials said they had seen no recent jump in overdoses.
Earlier this month, federal agents raided an illicit lab in Mexico they said could have been the source of the fentanyl. Still, overdoses have continued around the country, including a rash in Pittsburgh. Officials said that the supply of tainted heroin would take some time to disappear, even if they had closed off the source.
Police and drug enforcement agencies held a summit this week in Chicago, the city hit hardest by the fentanyl overdoses, to coordinate their efforts.
Fentanyl is a legal painkiller described as 80 times stronger than morphine. Drug enforcement agents have said just 125 micrograms - the equivalent of a few grains of salt - can be fatal. Authorities have found that some overdose victims unwittingly bought and injected bags that were nearly pure fentanyl.
Overdoses tend to drive up heroin's demand, as addicts seek out ever more pure product.
- 30 -
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This article has been tagged since January 2006.
Chemical structure of Fentanyl
Chemical formula C22H29N2ClO
Molecular mass 372.931 g mol-1
Systematic name N-(1-phenethyl-4-piperidyl)-N-phenyl-propanamid
Fentanyl is an opioid analgesic, first synthesized in Belgium in the late 1950s, with an analgesic potency of about 80 times that of morphine. It was introduced into medical practice in the 1960s as an intravenous anesthetic under the trade name of Sublimaze. Fentanyl has an LD50
[Bobipedia: LD50 = Lethal Dose in 50 percent of test animals]
of 3.1 milligrams per kilogram in rats. The LD50 in humans is not known. Fentanyl is a Schedule II drug.
The pharmaceutical industry has developed several analogues of fentanyl:
* Alfentanil (Alfenta), an ultra-short acting (5–10 minutes) analgesic,
* Sufentanil (Sufenta), a potent analgesic (5 to 10 times more potent than fentanyl) for use in heart surgery.
* Remifentanil, currently the shortest acting opioid, has the benefit of rapid offset, even after prolonged infusions.
* Carfentanil (Wildnil) is an analogue of fentanyl with an analgesic potency 10,000 times that of morphine and is used in veterinary practice to immobilize certain large animals.
Today, fentanyls are extensively used for anesthesia and analgesia. Duragesic, by Janssen Pharmaceutica, is a fentanyl transdermal patch used in chronic pain management. In the past few years, this compound has gone generic and is available for lower cost. Duragesic is manufactured in five patch sizes. They are 12.5 µg/hour, 25 µg/hr., 50 µg/hr., 75 µg/hr., and 100 µg/hr.. Dosage is based on the size of the patch, since the transdermal absorption rate is generally constant at skin temperature.
Actiq, by Cephalon, is a recently-developed solid formulation of fentanyl citrate on a stick that dissolves slowly in the mouth for transmucosal absorption. Actiq is intended for opiate-tolerant individuals and is effective in treating breakthrough cancer pain. It is also useful for breakthrough pain for those suffering bone injuries, severe back pain, neuropathy, arthritis, and some other examples of chronic nonmalignant pain. The unit is a berry-flavored lozenge on a stick which is swabbed on the mucosal surfaces inside the mouth - under and on the tongue and gums—to release the fentanyl quickly into the system. It is most effective when the lozenge is consumed in 15 minutes. The drug is less effective if swallowed, absorption from the alimentary tract being poor. Actiq is available in 6 dosages, from 200 µg to 1,600 µg (there are no 1,000 µg or 1,400 µg doses)in 200 µg increments.
Fentanyl is frequently given intrathecally as part of spinal anesthesia or epidurally for epidural anesthesia and analgesia.
Illicit use of pharmaceutical fentanyls first appeared in the mid-1970s in the medical community and continues in the present. United States authorities classify fentanyl as a narcotic. To date, over 12 different analogues of fentanyl have been produced clandestinely and identified in the U.S. drug traffic. The biological effects of the fentanyls are indistinguishable from those of heroin, with the exception that the fentanyls may be hundreds of times more potent - in some places, it is sold as heroin, often leading to many overdoses. Also, fentanyl has a shorter duration than heroin does. Fentanyls are most commonly used by intravenous administration, but like heroin, they may also be smoked or snorted. One common street name for fentanyl is china white. This is not always accurate, as it was originally given to alpha-methyl-fentanyl, although in recent years this terminology has faded somewhat. AMF has longer metabolism than fentanyl because the methyl group retards metabolism.
Actiq has begun to appear on the streets under the street name of "percopop", although the cost of the drug for actual patients is approximately US$16 to US$50 for each unit (based on strength of lozenge), with the black market cost is anywhere from US$20 to US$60 per unit, depending on the strength.
As of late May 2006, a mix of fentanyl and either cocaine or heroin has caused an outbreak in overdose deaths on the US east coast, heavily concentrated in the cities of Detroit, Philadelphia, Camden, Chicago, and Little Rock.
Both Actiq and Duragesic are becoming as popular as Oxycontin in pharmacy burglaries and robberies. In the U.S., law enforcement agencies are being instructed in how to tell the difference between Actiq and other medications, by sight, so they are better able to notice abuse of the drug.
* Description of use of Fentanyl in Russia as an incapacitating weapon
* US DEA information: fentanyl
* BBC news report on Russian siege story
* Amid fentanyl deaths, investigation, addicts keep using in the Chicago Defender
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl"
* This page was last modified 14:06, 16 June 2006.
* All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
written and performed by Cat Stevens
Banapple gas, oh Banapple gas
Everybody's sniffing it Banapple gas
O-o alas! All the world is stuck on it Banapple gas.
Does it do you good, make you better
Set you healthy when you're bed-tied?
Well I don't know if it makes you well ...
But it must be healthy
'Cause it don't smell.
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Everybody's living on Banapple gas
All the world is grooving on Banapple gas.
Do you know what goes inside to make it
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Does it help you smile more to wake up
Make you happy just to be alive?
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All the world is breathing
No one knows what's inside it
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