Study Finds Bath Salts More Addictive Than Meth

>> >>AMITA SHARMA: MORE THAN 100 SAILORS WERE KICKED OUT OF THE NAVY IN SAN DIEGO LAST YEAR FOR USING BATH SALTS TO GET HIGH THE SALTS ARE CONSIDERED A DESIGNER DRUG AND ARE ILLEGAL IN CALIFORNIA

BATH SALTS CAUSE HALLUCINATIONS AND NOW RESEARCH SHOWS THEY ARE MORE POTENT AND ADDICTIVE THAN METHAMPHETAMINE MICHAEL TAFFE AND TOBY DICKERSON AT THE SCRIPPS INSTITUTE ARE STUDYING BATH SALTS THEY ARE HERE WITH MET MICHAEL, WHAT ARE BATH SALTS MADE OF? >> >>DR TAFFE: THE CORE MOLECULE IS VERY SIMILAR TO AMPHETAMINE

IT COMES FROM A NATURAL PRODUCT, THE COTTON PLANT WE'RE IN AN EXPLOSION OF DESIGNER DRUGS MUCH LIKE WE SAW THE AMPHETAMINES 20 YEARS AGO IT'S A STIMULANT AND THIS IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY, UM, MODIFICATIONS THIS MDPV COMPOUNDS IS ONE OF THE MANY MODIFICATIONS WE'VE BEEN SEEING IN THE USER POPULATION >> >>PEGGY PICO: TOBIN, HOW DID YOU STUD THEA DRUG? >> >>DR DICKERSON: WE SAW THIS FIRST EMERGING IN THE UK IN ABOUT 2009, AND REALIZED THIS WAS EVENTUALLY GOING TO COME TO THE U

S WE FIGURED OUT WHAT THE DRUG LOOKS LIKE AT A MOLECULAR LEVEL AND THEN SYNTHESIZE IT IN A LAB WE MADE THIS, WE COULD DO ANIMAL MODELS, IN THIS CASE WE USED RATS TO MAW MAAED T WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE IF A HUMAN WERE USING THE DRUG >> >>AMITA SHARMA: WHAT DID THE FINDINGS SHOW? >> >>DR TAFFE: THESE ARE RATS THEY'RE GIVEN INTRAVENOUS LINES, THEY PRESS A LEVEL FOR AN INFUSION OF DRUG

IN ONE YOU INCREASE THE REPRESSES THE PRESSES THE ANIMAL HAS TO GIVE TO GET THE DRUG, THEY WOULD HAVE TO PRESS THE LEVEL MORE THE OTHER THING YOU DO IS DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF DRUG FOR THE EVERY LEVEL PRESS AS YOU DECREASE THE DOSE AVAILABLE, THE RATS CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THE BATH SALTS WHEN THEY STOPPED WORKING FOR METHAMPHETAMINE >> >>AMITA SHARMA: WERE THESE FINDINGS THAT YOU HAD WITH THE RATS SIMILAR TO WHAT HAS BEEN DISPLAYED WITH HUMAN BEINGS? >> >>DR DICKERSON: THERE IS SOME ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE WITH HUMAN BEINGS WHERE HUMAN USERS HAVE SAID IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO STOP USING THESE BATH SALT DRUGS

THEY'RE MORE POTENT OR STIMULATING THAN THEY WERE FOR SAY METHAMPHETAMINE WE DID SEE THAT WITH THE RATS AS WELL THE RATS DID WANT THE DRUG WE DIDN'T LOOK AT COMING OFF OF THE DRUG, BUT THEY DID SHOW EFFECTS THAT THIS DRUG IS MORE POTENT AND MORE REWARDING TO THEM >> >>AMITA SHARMA: MICHAEL, WHAT DID THE FINDINGS SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE? WHAT DID THE FINDINGS TELL YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE SYNTHETIC DRUG INDUSTRY? >> >>DR

TAFFE: THEY'RE CERTAINLY GOING TO BE AROUND FOR AWHILE ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE TRYING TO DO, THERE'S A DIVERSITY OF COMPOUNDS THE BATH SALTS ARE A COLLECTION OF DESIGNER COMPOUNDS WE WOULD LIKE TO GET OUT IN FRONT OF THE HUMAN USE PROFILE SO WE KNOW MORE BEFORE PEOPLE START DOING THIN THEM IN SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS >> >>AMITA SHARMA: THAT'S WIN ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT THE COMPOSITION OF THESE DRUGS KEEPS ON CHANGING AND SO THEY REMAIN OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF LAW

TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT >> >>DR DICKERSON: THE WAY THIS WORKED THE DRUG USERS STAYED IN FRONT OF THE LAWS BOTH FOR DETECTION PURPOSES IN ORDER THAT THESE DRUGS THEY TAKE THEM, YOU AREN'T DETECTED IN THE MILITARY POPULATIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, WHERE YOU'RE UNDER SURVEILLANCE ALSO THEY STAY OUT IN FRONT BECAUSE OF REGULATION

THIS COMPOUND MPVP WAS SCHEDULED IN 2011, THERE ARE NEW CATHINONES THAT ARE OUT THERE'S NO STUDIES ARE THEY MORE POWERFUL STIMULANTS THAN METHAMPHETAMINE >> >>AMITA SHARMA: HOW CAN LAW ENFORCEMENT STAY AHEAD OF THESE DRUG USERS? >> >>DR TAFFE: THEY'LL TRY DO PREDICTIVE MODELS AS WELL AND TRY TO WRITE LEGISLATION IN A WAY OF THE WHOLE CLASS OF COMPOUNDS ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE ILLUSTRATED WITH SPICE AND K2 IS THAT IT'S G DIFFICULT TO LEGISLATE IN A WAY THAT ANTICIPATES EACH AND EVERY MODIFICATION THAT MIGHT COME ALONG

>> >>AMITA SHARMA: AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, LAST YEAR A HUNDRED SAILORS WERE KICKED OUT OF THE NAVY IN SAN DIEGO FOR USING BATH SALTS WHAT MAKES THESE DRUG SOAZ POPULAR? >> >>DR DICKERSON: I THINK IN THE MILITARY POPULATION THEY ARE UNDER SURVEILLANCE, BEING MONITORED FOR DRUG USE YOU HAVE DRUGS THAT ARE NO LONGER BEING PICKED UP ON THE SCREENS THEN THEY'RE U U LOOED TO ALLOWED TO USE THOSE WITHOUT ANY REPERCUSSIONS

THERE ARE SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS THAT CAN PLAY INTO WHY SOMEONE USES DRUGS THESE DRUGS IN PARTICULAR SEEM TO HAVE A COMBINATION OF BEING OUTSIDE OF THE SCREENING, AS WELL AS HAVING EXTREMELY POTENT ACTIVITY SO THEY'RE REWARDING AND REINFORCE >> >>AMITA SHARMA: MICHAEL, WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO STUDY BATH SALTS? >> >>DR TAFFE: WHEN THEY FIRST EMERGED, THERE WASN'T INFORMATION AVAILABLE, AS A SCIENTIST WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH TAX PAYER GRANTS, THAT'S OUR JOB

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