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					    BRIEFING MAY 2010




    RESEARCH CHEMICALS
    UPDATE AND INFORMATION ON THE USE OF RESEARCH CHEMICALS BY YOUNG PEOPLE IN CUMBRIA


 What are these Research Chemicals?
                                     research chemicals and as             illegal as quickly as possi-        The Effects:
                                     such is less likely to be-            ble and usually without
                                     come obsolete as new                  conducting any detailed                   Euphoria, alertness, talka-
                                     chemicals continue to be-             research into the risks or                  tiveness and feelings of
                                     come available and the                effects. Unfortunately, evi-                empathy
                                     law and drugs services                dence would suggest that
                                     attempt to play ‘catch-up’.           legal status has little effect            Often described as feeling
                                                                           on the likelihood of young                  somewhere between
                                     Legality:                             people to use these sub-                    MDMA, Methamphetamine
                                     Initially at least, research          stances, but illegality does                and Cocaine
                                     chemicals tend not to be              increase the chances that
Research Chemicals usu-              controlled under the Mis-             the substances will be con-
                                                                                                                     Hallucinations
ally take the form of white          use of Drugs Act. Histori-            taminated, and only avail-                Psychosis can be triggered
    powder or crystals.              cally, official response to           able from dealers who may                   by excessive use
                                     these substances has al-              also be selling other con-
‘Research      Chemicals’,           ways been to make them                trolled and more harmful
and ‘Designer drugs’ are                                                   drugs.
                                                                                                               The Risks:
terms used to describe               Some commonly avail-                                                            Very bad reactions when
drugs which are created              able Research Chemi-                  Availability:                               mixed with alcohol
(or marketed) to get                                                       There are literally hun-
                                     cals:
around existing drug laws,                                                 dreds of research chemi-                  Nosebleeds caused by
either by modifying exist-                       NRG-1                     cals available for purchase                 ‘snorting’ the drug
ing drugs, or by finding                                                   on the internet with new
new chemicals which pro-                         NRG-2                     compounds being pro-                      Paranoia and possible men-
duce similar effects to ex-                                                duced on a virtually weekly                 tal health problems with
                                                  MDAI                     basis. Typically, they are                  long term use
isting illegal recreational
drugs. These drugs are                           MDPV                      available from around £10 a
                                                                                                                     There is a danger that young
often sold as “plant food”.                                                gram.
                                                                                                                       people may experiment with
This is a marketing tool.                     Benzo Fury
                                                                           Usage:                                      other chemicals or plant
They are NOT food for
                                                  5-IAI                    These drugs are usually                     foods in the belief that these
plants. Because of the
                                                                           either    snorted,    or                    will also have a euphoric
speed with which new                         Mephedrone                    ‘bombed’     (swallowed                     effect
drugs are currently becom-
                                                                           wrapped up in a cigarette
ing available, this factsheet                    MCAT                                                                They can easily be mixed
                                                                           paper) but are sometimes
aims to provide information                                                                                            with other unknown sub-
                                              Naphyrone                    also available in liquid
which is widely relevant to                                                                                            stances
                                                                           form.


Harm Reduction                       with adulterants. Therefore what
                                     clients are using is a relatively
                                                                           6. We would recommend young
                                                                           people to prepare themselves
                                                                                                               hits.

Advice                               pure chemical.                        for the ‘comedowns’ and to try      10. As these drugs are mainly
                                                                                                               being snorted it is important that
                                                                           relaxation and mood foods to
                                     4. The relative purity of NRG1        mitigate the feelings.              they use clean straws and do not
1. It is appropriate to explain to   and Mephedrone make ‘doses’                                               share, that they use the straw as
young people that we do not          very difficult to assess. However     7. Young people need to be          far up their nose as possible
have enough evidence to say          it is probably wise to tell clients   acutely aware of the effect of      (fewer hairs for chemicals to get
what long term or even short         that they need far less than other    any drug use on existing or         stuck on) and that they try to clean
effects of many of these drugs       drugs such as cocaine. A typical      underlying mental health prob-      their nasal passages after use, to
are.                                 line of cocaine might be 5cm          lems, with particular warnings      eliminate caustic chemical being
                                     long but NRG1, one can produce        about paranoia.                     left in their noses.
2. We do know that NRG1 in           an immediate and powerful
particular is a powerful stimu-      effect with a line as short as 1cm.   8. Many of the ‘suspected’          There is no such thing as safe drug
lant; therefore it is important                                            Mephedrone drug deaths, seem        use; but this list may help to mini-
that young people are not using      5. We have several reports from       to have had other drugs and or      mise some of the harmful effects of
through the night and are aware      young      people      that  the      alcohol as a contributing factor.   these drugs.
of the dangers of sleep depriva-     ‘comedowns’ from these drugs          Therefore it is advisable to tell
tion.                                are     quite     severe.   The       young people not to mix drugs        All young drug users should be
                                     ‘comedowns’ can be 1 to 3 days                                            taught the recovery position and
3. As these drugs are mass           after a session. The ‘comedown’       9. It is important that young         told to phone an ambulance if
produced     in   China    very      seems to consist of feelings of       people who do use these drugs            their friends are having
cheaply so far there seems little    agitation, extreme tiredness,         maintain fluid levels and try to                 problems
evidence that they are mixed         exhaustion and very low moods.        drink ‘some’ water in between


       For more local information or advice, telephone SIGNPOST on: 0800 0838 449 or talk to FRANK on: 0800 776600
                                           Produced by Cumbria Youth Offending Service May 2010

				
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