Archive for May, 2010

K2 New Designer Drug On the Street

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The latest compound on the designer “alternative” drugs scene is a substance known cryptically as JWH-018. This substance was the discovery of Dr. John Huffman, a Clemson University professor who supervised its development as part of a broader research project involving the study of endogenous cannabinoid receptors. Its name on the street, at least for now, is K2.
At the present time, JWH-018 is being synthesized overseas. In a liquid form, JWH-018 is sprayed over plant material destined for packaging as incense or room deodorant. The treated botanicals are then packaged and labeled as K2. The product is widely available over the Internet and is available in varying weights, strengths, and colors. Some head shops in the U.S. are selling the product over the counter. At the moment though, the Internet is the principle market for sales and distribution of the substance. It is clear that K2 has a fan club consisting mostly of long time marijuana users. A number of blogs devoted to marijuana smoking and marijuana legalization contain testimonials from K2 and JWH-018 smokers. Thought to be 4 to 5 times more powerful than THC, the prime intoxicant in marijuana, JWH-018 causes what appears to be a unique set of effects on the central nervous system. The K2 incense is smoked and appears to have near instant sedative effects on the user. This stands in stark contrast to the effects of traditional smoked marijuana, wherein the THC high sometimes takes 15 to 20 minutes to take hold.
There is a lack of reliable scientific information relating to JWH-018. That limits any broad assessment of it as a drug of abuse that is capable of causing physical dependency. Chronic marijuana use can lead to addiction and physical dependency. Early reports of JWH-018’s effects suggest that not all of the high is pleasurable. Some testimonials point to agitation, confusion, and dysphoria that persisted for an hour or more following the smoking of JWH-018 perfused incense. A teenager in Missouri vomited, suffered seizures, stopped breathing and was unconscious for five hours after smoking it. Drug tests on the teenager came back negative. Others however are complimentary of JWH-018’s hallucinogenic LSD-like effects. It remains to be seen if JWH-018 and K2 spice are a one-hit wonder or a phenomenon that will take hold to become the latest edition to the alternative drug scene.

Mexican Drug Lord Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Cocaine Distribution

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Miguel Arriola, age 42, of Mexico, was sentenced late Friday afternoon, May 7, 2010, by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn to serve 240 months (20 years) in federal prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, conspiracy to import 5 kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States, and money laundering conspiracy, U.S. Attorney David Gaouette and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sweetin announced today. Judge Blackburn also ordered the defendant to pay a $250,000 fine.
The investigation into the Arriola drug trafficking organization, operated by Miguel Arriola and his brother Oscar Arriola, led to the seizure of over 2300 kilograms of cocaine, and more than $10,000,000 in cash. The case against Oscar Arriola is pending, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This sentencing is part of the Justice Department

What is the preferred method for the collector to get the MRO copy of the CCF to the MRO?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The promptness of reporting suffers when the mail is used to convey the MRO copy from the collection site. Even though the DOT permits other means (e.g., overnight courier service) of transmitting MRO copies from the collection site to the MRO, collectors should fax the MRO copies when possible. If the faxed copy is not legible, the MRO must request another faxed copy or a hard copy.

New technique enables drugs tests via exhaled breath

Monday, May 24th, 2010

A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet presents a new technique that makes drug testing possible through exhaled air for the first time. By examining people who had received emergency care for an amphetamine overdose, the researchers found that in all cases there were traces of amphetamine and metamphetamine in the exhaled breath.
“Traditionally, drugs tests have been carried out using urine and blood samples,” says Professor Olof Beck, who led the study. “In recent years we’ve been trying to find simpler alternatives using saliva, which, unfortunately, has proved difficult. Our results open the way for a new kind of drugs test, which is simple and safe to conduct and that requires no integrity-violating monitoring or medical staff.”
Drug abuse is a huge social problem and drugs tests are widely used by the healthcare industry and social services, the legal system, at workplaces and schools. Reliable drugs tests are important for making correct diagnoses and for keeping tabs on drug users. Alcohol use can easily be checked in a breathalyzer, and the technology is available for conducting measurements in a way that does not violate a person’s integrity. Measurements of other substances in the exhaled breath are also available for diagnosing diseases such as cancer, asthma and diabetes.
In a recent studypublished in the latest issue of The Journal of Analytical Toxicology, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have developed a new and unique method for collecting narcotic substances from the exhaled breath. This they did by asking subjects to breathe into a specially designed mask for ten minutes, whereupon the exhaled air was collected and passed through a filter, which trapped the narcotic substances. These filters were then analyzed using combined liquid chromatography and tandem mass-spectrometry, techniques that are highly sensitive and reliable.
The researchers took samples from 12 patients who had been admitted into emergency care with toxic symptoms after having taken amphetamines. The samples were taken after the effects of the drug had worn off. The ingestion of the drug was confirmed in the patient group through urine and blood samples. In all cases, the researchers were able to ascertain the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine (a narcotics-classed central-stimulating substance similar to amphetamine) in the exhaled breath as well. The measured excretion rate was between 0.2 and 139 pg/min, which is very low compared to the blood and urine. No amphetamine or methamphetamine were detected in samples from healthy controls.

President Releases National Drug Control Strategy 2010

Friday, May 21st, 2010

President Obama

Drug Czar Kerlikowske Says Drug War Has ‘Not Been Successful’

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

The War on Drugs, declared by President Nixon in 1970 and continued for the past four decades, has “not been successful,” said Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, echoing a common trope of the drug-policy reform movement.

“In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,” Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said of a campaign that has cost more than $1 trillion since its inception. “Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified.”

The Associated Press reported May 14 that Kerlikowske said that the Obama administration’s new anti-drug strategy calls for a shift in focus toward addiction treatment and prevention, with an emphasis on attacking drug use as a public-health problem. Still, the bulk of federal anti-drug money continues to go toward efforts to control drug supply, not demand.

“Nothing happens overnight,” Kerlikowske said. “We’ve never worked the drug problem holistically. We’ll arrest the drug dealer, but we leave the addiction.”

John Walters, President George W. Bush’s drug czar, defended the drug war, saying it resulted in historic declines in overall use of illicit drugs. “To say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven’t made any difference is ridiculous,” he said. “It destroys everything we’ve done. It’s saying all the people involved in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It’s saying all these people’s work is misguided.”

Rick Lyman Promoted to Assistant Administative Director

Monday, May 17th, 2010

May 10, 2010

From: Chris Greenberg, CEO
Global Safety Network, a Risk Mitigation and Consulting Company, is proud to announce that Mr. Rick Lyman has been promoted to Assistant Administrative Director.
Since joining Global Safety Network in November 2009, Mr. Lyman

FMCSA Launches Pre-Employment Screening Program

Monday, May 17th, 2010

On May 11, 2010, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched its Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), which allows commercial motor carrier companies to electronically access driver inspection and crash records as a part of the hiring process.

“Safety is our highest priority. The Pre-Employment Screening Program sends a strong message to commercial carriers and drivers that we are serious about having the safest drivers behind the wheel of large trucks and buses,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“Starting today, commercial carriers will have an essential tool for making informed hiring decisions that will lead to safer drivers on our roads,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “The Pre-Employment Screening Program raises the safety bar for the motor carrier industry and helps to make our roads safer for everyone.”

The Pre-Employment Screening Program offers access to up to five years of driver crash data and three years of inspection data regardless of the state or jurisdiction. By using driver safety information during pre-employment screening, commercial carriers will be able to better assess the potential safety risks of prospective driver-employees. PSP also gives drivers additional opportunities to verify the data in their driving history and correct any discrepancies. A driver’s records will be protected in accordance with federal privacy laws.

The Pre-Employment Screening Program is populated monthly by FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The MCMIS is comprised of driver performance data including inspection and compliance review results, enforcement data, state-reported crashes, and motor carrier census data.

For complete details go to http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Can a collector mark through pre-printed employer, MRO, collection site, and/or laboratory information on the CCF if that information is not accurate for a particular collection?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Yes. When the collector has no

Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Several states have or are considering mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. Such laws have been passed or are being considered in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Hawaii, Florida and Minnesota. At least six states – Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Virginia – require drug testing for convicted felons and parolees seeking public assistance.
According to a National Household Survey on Drug Abuse released in 2002, among all persons aged 12 to 64, 7.2 percent reported past month illicit drug use. The prevalence among persons in assisted families (9.6 percent) was higher than among persons in families receiving no government assistance (6.8 percent). For both males and females, and across all age groups, the prevalence of past month illicit drug use in assisted families was about the same or greater than the prevalence among families receiving no government assistance.
The Department of Health and Human Services reports that among unemployed adults aged 18 or older in 2007, 18.3 percent were current illicit drug users, which was higher than the 8.4 percent of those employed full time and 10.1 percent of those employed part time. However, most illicit drug users were employed. Of the 17.4 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2007, 13.1 million (75.3 percent) were employed either full or part time.