Clearly, he was on fire at the gym
April 21, 2012 6:16 PM   Subscribe

(er.... I probably shouldn't do this...)

when I think of Desomorphine, as krokodil, I think of one mind-blowingly gruesome photo out of a series of terrible pictures from this page documenting the results of its use. (I'm debating this ... OK, I'm going to post a link. But be warned)
posted by Auden at 6:44 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I was a young, indiscriminate consumer of things that make you high, I finally started discriminating because it just seemed crazy to be ingesting unknown chemicals made by lowlifes. Now I don’t even like food additives, or trust the big companies. This article is scary.
posted by bongo_x at 6:52 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

It doesn't help that the first ad-break in the story is telling me to click and find out the secret of six pack abs.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:13 PM on April 21, 2012

Interestingly, the scientists quoted in the article seem to worry about substances they discover having dangerous side effects when all of the adverse effects noted in the article are from impurities, not the active compounds themselves.
posted by euphorb at 7:21 PM on April 21, 2012

Yow, Auden. Glad I'm on a small device right now. Wouldn't want to see those photos on my regular screen. Drugs can do horrible damage before they kill you.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:24 PM on April 21, 2012

This suggests an interesting question about the future of the "war on drugs": once authorities start playing a game of cat-and-mouse with innumerable chemists making designer drugs, how long before drug prohibitions are irrelevant? If enough amateur chemists have the right equipment, and enough time on their hands, bypassing drug laws starts to seem as inevitable as hackers bypassing some new DRM scheme.

How long before certain drugs become passé before they even have a chance to be regulated?
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 7:25 PM on April 21, 2012

I think you already see the consequence of synthetics with stuff like "spice" and the various other synthetic cannabis products. The ones that aren't just outright scams generally involve research chemicals that have ended up being banned under analog laws that basically say that if a compound has the same effect as a so-called scheduled narcotic then it is effectively equivalent and falls under the same laws. They are potentially dangerous and totally unregulated without the slightest quality control and there is still an ongoing game of whack a mole to ban them. This is even stupider in light of the knowledge that these potentially dangerous synthetics are synthesizing something which is effectively harmless.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:32 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

How long before certain drugs become passé before they even have a chance to be regulated

The government is waaay ahead of you. The federal analog act is vague enough that pretty much anything that gets you high is illegal.
posted by mullingitover at 7:34 PM on April 21, 2012

(For what it's worth, I use the phrase "so-called scheduled narcotic" because I don't really understand what narcotic means colloquially anymore. I guess basically any drug that's being sold under the table rather than by corporations is now a narcotic.)
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:34 PM on April 21, 2012

Auden, that's horrible, horrible, horrible, but I'm glad you posted it.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:41 PM on April 21, 2012

People want drugs. If they can't purchase a legal, regulated product, they'll buy this stuff.
posted by orme at 7:46 PM on April 21, 2012

Apparently, up in Canada we have no laws prohibiting analogues, although the US does, and Australia has laws specifically regarding similarities in chemical structure (Wikipedia: designer drugs and the law).
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 7:46 PM on April 21, 2012

It took me about two paragraphs before I realized "Ohhhh, that Patrick Arnold." He's the guy who went to Duchaine with the "great" idea of starting a supplement company by getting cheap creatine from China. Apparently China doesn't give a shit about regulation at all, as the story notes, and Duchaine told him to get screwed. Not sure if it was because of Arnold but about ten or so years ago there was a rash of people coming down with all kinds of weird symptoms and problems because they were using creatine manufactured in China.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 8:02 PM on April 21, 2012

The scariest designer-drug thing I ever read about was a chemistry grad student who tried to synthesize MPPP, a synthetic opiate. During one step of the process, he let the temperature rise too much, producing MPTP instead, which causes rapid and permanent Parkinson's Disease.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:58 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Information wants to be free.

If you look around the Internet, these drug manufacturers are not the scareiest thing by a long road. I well remember a thread titled "VX nerve agent from over the counter sources" that did indeed produce that information after a fairly short period... The site that spawned the thread is gone now. The information it generated and brought together isn't.

The answer isn't trying to stuff the knowledge genie back into the bottle. Not going to happen.

Neither will restricting chemicals or equipment have much effect. All industrial chemicals start from sources so basic and widely available that they can't be eliminated while maintaining our lifestyles at the current level. Equipment is trivial as well in my experience.

As a species we are going to develop the thought patterns required to survive the widespread availability of what was formerly arcane and reatricted knowledge... Or not.

The ability to do recombinant DNA work in a basement lab is allready here. When the ideological heirs of Shoko Asahara or Charles Manson next look to stir the pot, life will be VERY interesting.
posted by bert2368 at 11:07 PM on April 21, 2012

Wow, that lab is just a few miles from me. I think this is it. The county property records indicate it belongs to Mr. Ramlakhan Boodram, and the article describes it as a brick warehouse, which it appears to be.
posted by Hither at 4:05 AM on April 22, 2012

In February of this year, my 24 yo nephew, died from 'bath salts' made with Chinese synthesized materials that were later discovered during the investigation to contain toxic impurities. He was not a drug addict or frequent drug (or analog) user, merely a college student trying to avoid tripping a U.A. while celebrating with a bachelor party. He left behind a fiance and two young children.

My generation in my family is fairly open minded about drugs. My sister is so very angry now, feeling that he would have been safer had he went ahead and just used cocaine.
posted by _paegan_ at 5:26 AM on April 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

Bad comma, ruining my sentences.
posted by _paegan_ at 5:27 AM on April 22, 2012

> when all of the adverse effects noted in the article are from impurities,
> not the active compounds themselves.

Robert Louis Stevenson was there first.
posted by jfuller at 6:46 AM on April 23, 2012

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