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99 requests for emergency help in 5 months due to 'law-evading herb' use in Tokyo

51 Comments

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday that 99 people were taken to hospital for treatment after ingesting "law-evading herbs" ("dappo habu" in Japanese) in the first five months of 2012.

The word "herb" is used in Japan as a euphemism for a range of drugs that circumvent current substance control laws. The sale of the drugs, which police say are usually smoked, has been in the news recently following a spate of medical emergencies.

According to police statistics, more than half of the calls were made by, or on behalf of, people in their 20s. The youngest recorded victim was a 14-year-old junior high school boy, NTV reported. The boy, who was found semi-conscious in the street after having smoked the drug, told police that an older student at his school had recommended it to him.

Police say there are around 78 known stores in the capital selling legal drugs and that law enforcement officials have been visiting vendors, urging them to exercise restraint. A police spokesperson also added that attempts are being made to educate and warn young people throughout the city about the dangers, NTV reported.

Earlier this month, in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, the manager of a herb store was arrested after two people to whom he sold synthetic cannabis got sick and had to be hospitalized. He was charged with causing injury through negligence, for failing to provide adequate warnings to customers about the side effects of inhaling the hallucinogenic herbs that he was selling. It was the first time in Japan that a herb retailer has been charged over professional negligence.

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51 Comments
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At least there's no cannibalism today. But whatever. The "bath salts" "epidemic" is on.... do those shops sell "friendship roses" too?

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

Am I the only one going to point out the blatant push the government has on this topic?

6 ( +7 / -2 )

Were these side-effects actual side-effects, or (and this is very likely) were they just the feeling of being stoned, which most people (especially a 14-year-old boy) won't be familiar with?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Maria, it's over-consumption. If you consume a bit, you are alright and you might enjoy it. If you take a big hit, you might start sweating and become paranoid. That's the nature of these chemicals, nothing like what they are designed to imitate. It's not the feeling of being stoned but hallucinations, paranoia, heart problems like the heart rate going thru the roof or arrhythmia, feeling that you are in hell and that you are about to die. Combine that with the summer heat and you'll get a lot of freaked out people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I bet the keystones are working 24-7 trying to get these man-made garbage so called "herbs" banned or something like that. LOL God forbid someone trying to temporary "escape" the harsh cold reality by getting high. Good old Marihuana/Cannabis? No! BANNED. Man-made garbage like this trashy synthetic herbs, alcohol and cigarettes? Absolutely. Keyword: Profit!

9 ( +11 / -3 )

Selling grass in Kusatsu? That's a surprise!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Maria @REMzzz

These are actual side effects. It is NOT over-consumption. JWH-018 was the original chemical that has been around for nearly a decade in synthetic marijuana. In the last 5 years or so it because very wide spread. The EU, USA, and Japan banned all sales and substances that contained JWH-018. Since then about 5 or 6 different, but similar chemicals have been produced. The chemists only have to change one molecule bond and it become a new legal chemical. The synthetic marijuana is made by "street chemists." There is no regulation on how this stuff is produced. You have a two fold problem here. 1st: Some of the derivative chemicals being produced are not getting you "stoned" as much as they triggering other marijuana effects like paranoia. If you read about the stories coming from all over world. Just like in Japan, a very small amount can cause an almost paranoid schizophrenic event. People are coming after you sort of feeling. In studies they have found this stuff also raises your heart to danagour levels. Combine a speeding heart rate with nightmarish parinoia and you get full panic attacks and people loosing consciousness from a skyrocketing blood pressure and hyperventilating. The other problem is that like I said this stuff is not regulated. I assume (this is one thing I have not read how they actually make) that they just spray this chemical on the herbs that you smoke. No two packs of this crap is the same. One guy might smoke 1 puff and loose his mind and the guy next to him with a different pack might have to smoke tho whole package. It has nothing to do with the heat. and you are not wrong when you say "over-consumption" but from story after story I have read, "over-consumption" is occurring at the VERY FIRST HIT for many users.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

99 cases in a country of 127 million people...

Is this actually newsworthy?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Just curious as to what proportion of total "legal herb" users this is. Would be very interesting to compare it against the percentage of marajuana smokers who have put in calls to emergency.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why not sell the real stuff in drugstores? That way the kids don`t have to fall back on toxic designer drugs. And the government could tax it and take the money to pay off the highest public debt in the world. Once that weight is off the shoulders of the younger generations, they might not even feel the need to escape reality anymore.

14 ( +13 / -0 )

Rhino.

That would call for a logical, pragmatic approach, etc,etc... It'll never happen here.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Wonder how many calls for help they got from people sniffing markers or inhaling glue fumes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

you are not wrong when you say "over-consumption" but from story after story I have read, "over-consumption" is occurring at the VERY FIRST HIT for many users.

Yes. It's often so and many people take a hit the same way they would if it were the real thing, resulting in this kind of overdose. I should have mentioned that.

A very tiny amount might be ok, but a "normal" hit is enough to cause a severe "freakout". In any case, i'd never touch the stuff.

@Franchesca,

Your "trash" may be someone's treasure, and conversely, your treasure is somebody's trash. I'd never trade tobacco for marijuana. I prefer to be alert, relaxed but no, not stoned. Meh. Not my thing

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Wonder how many calls for help they got from people sniffing markers or inhaling glue fumes

None. If you overdo it, you just hobble over to whatever fresh air you can find. If you really overdo it, you die. That's Toluene for you. The less pure mixed crap in glue and markers can give you nausea and headaches.

Tolly doesn't mess with you the same way a "drug" can. You can be ill momentarily, but the real problem is it soaks into your brain and doesn't evaporate out. It's there forever. You stop, but it never stops. It never stops eating away the "insulation" that keeps nerves working independently, and things just get worse with every year. There is no sudden emergency, it's not like a drug, it's like an incurable disease.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I've bought this legal herb about half a dozen times from NZ. Expensive, but excellent quality. I did go a bit beserk and smoked way too much, but had a great time. Strong as. On the other hand, I have also bought some cheap legal herb from the US and it was awful. Couldn't get a fly high, and ended up in the garbage. I remember 10+ years ago when magic mushrooms were semi-legal and I enjoyed them on a weekly Friday night too. Rules, laws change, so get in while you can if you want to try?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

LEGALIZE MARIHUANA ALREADY DAMNIT!!!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Those who bought and used it knew what they were doing. Zama miro!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@REMzzz

Your "trash" may be someone's treasure, and conversely, your treasure is somebody's trash. I'd never trade tobacco for marijuana. I prefer to be alert, relaxed but no, not stoned. Meh. Not my thing

The truth of the matter is that Marihuana is indeed too precious to waste by abusing it in an irresponsible manner. How many terminal cancer/leukemia patients would give to have a little available so they can have some pain relief. Marihuana has some excellent medical properties that would help greatly, way better than morphine. If you think that all of us supporters for legalization of Marihuana are looking for a cheap way to get high, you are dead wrong. In fact, I would advocate for 70% of its use to go directed at hospitals and clinics. 30% for personal private use, making it illegal to use in public places/driving etc. Take a look at Amsterdam. Control it, Tax it, Place certain reasonable restrictions to avoid its abuse. But make it LEGAL!.

Some opposition religious groups claim that Marihuana is just another drug that should stay banned. LOL It's insane and plain ignorant to try to classify Marihuana and man-made garbage Crack/Heroine/LSD under the same category. Ban the real thing, and all you have left is desperate people coming up with these trash synthetic stuff causing unnecessary deaths.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Governments around the world need to seriously reconsider the illegality of marijuana. The pros outweigh the cons. Think of all the dangerous designer drugs, like Spice, that would be avoided if the natural cannabis is readily available. Seriously, I know the gateway drug argument, and for most, it's a fallacy. Smoking weed is no more dangerous or addictive than cigarettes or alcohol consumption.The problem is... PROFIT! The tobacco industry would stand to lose billions if marijuana were legalized.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Marijuana should be legalised. Then it can be safely regulated, crime will be reduced, governments receive tax income. Legalisation also means it will be harder for underage kids to get it as you would need ID to buy it in the same way as alcohol and cigarettes. Then people wouldn't have to resort to these man made/chemical "herbs" or bath salts which send people crazy. Legalisation makes lawful and economic sense.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

*legal sense not lawful.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Franchesca,

Glad we are on the same page :)

While i may have been a bit harsh in what i said, i definitely understand the medical aspect of it. I've had a friend with severe spinal cord injuries who had relied on Marijuana to simply function every day. May he rest in peace :'(

Even with abuse by recreational users the real thing doesn't lead to psychosis, unlike this imitation, so i'm definitely looking forward to see it decriminalized and perhaps some derivative medications for those who would rather not consume the whole plant/extract.

What's making me a bit "combative" is the many people who are being very obtuse, to put it mildly, about realizing that smoking marijuana carries many of the same risks and negatives as smoking tobacco, thinking that mj is 100% blameless and tobacco 100% evil. Too many surfer types here in California who believe this, citing the medical use as proof. But medical use only means that there is a benefit, not the absence of harm. Nobody would take chemotherapy meds for no reason, because they have side effects, but some people are just too much in their own universe. People who are so focused on attacking tobacco should realize that it's also a natural herb, which is also habit forming but also has "medical" value. There have been no suicides among people who smoke due to depression, but plenty due to chemical antidepressants, and the smoking cessation drug Chantix. Even tobacco grown in radioactive soil takes several decades to kill the user, while a suicide is much more final and doesn't give time for the family to say goodbye.

I have many positive feelings about the plant i defend, and i can see you are the same way about yours. Take care :)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To clarify regarding suicides, it's not to say that tobacco prevents suicide. But there is plenty of clinical evidence to say that SSRI antidepressants have caused suicidal thoughts in patients who have previously not experienced them. I do wonder if the artificial herb has any lasting effect on the subjects, or if any crimes, accidents or injuries can be attributed to it

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The tobacco industry would stand to lose billions if marijuana were legalized.

O Rly?

This is the most insane argument i've heard regarding the two. But they are so different. It's not like a person would smoke anything if they want to smoke. You either want one or the other, or both at different times, but they are not identical and never a substitute for each other. UGH!

Anyone who wants to function and not lose their jobs will steer clear of mj. I like my tobacco, and nothing can replace it. The effect is different, and i don't smoke just for the look of it...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think you are way off trying to say MJ and tobacco are in the same league, REMzzz. For one, tobacco is not beneficial in any way. Second, there are other ways to ingest cannabis other than smoking it, and for those that do smoke it, the amount consumed is way less for the average MJ user compared to the average smoker, which means much less lung damage for MJ.

Also, I don't think you can equate MJ "addiction" with the serious hardcore addiction that results from nicotine.

I'm not anti-tobacco by any means and don't have any problem with people smoking cigarettes, but I think you are making a mistake trying to equate the two as being roughly equal.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I wonder how these figures would compare with the amount of people hospitalized in the last six months for alcohol abuse. 10-1? 100-1? 1,000-1? 1,000,000-1? But, alcohol is completely legal and can be bought 24/7 at most convenience stores.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it legal to buy, what is the problem? The users/consumers not the shops.

If I (and many others) complained about feeling ill after drinking to much beer, will the police start to hassle pubs and clubs urging them to exercise restraint.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ REMzzz

Yeah. REALLY.

As for why you smoke, that's your prerogative. What got you to start smoking in the first place? Pretty sure it wasn't for the smell or the health benefits. The taste? Questionable. Plain good old fashioned curiosity? Sure. Why not. That's how I started. Most people I know however got into smoking for "the look of it", or because of the people they hung out with. As for the effect, as a former smoker myself, I did it to relax. I'm pretty sure marijuana has the same effect on most people. Sure, smoking anything is unhealthy, but given the chemicals in cigarettes (including cyanide), the natural alternative of marijuana (though, granted, it too has its own array of nasty byproducts) does have its own appeals. As a vice, smoking marijuana is also the closest alternative to smoking cigarettes. Take away one and people will more than likely try the other. Add an alternative and people will want to compare or replace. The argument of legalizing marijuana and the subsequent economic impact on the tobacco industry isn't really all that far-fetched. Like it or not, there WILL be an economic impact on the tobacco industry if marijuana ever gets legalized. But don't stress over it. You're cancer sticks are pretty much here to stay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ REMzzz

Your argument about marijuana vs. tobacco in relation to suicides is pretty insane as well. ANY substance, including alcohol, that alters blood chemistry has an affect on mood and personality. Especially when the body adapts to that substance and that substance gets taken away. It's called withdrawal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@REMzzz

If I had to choose between the two, I would certainly choose tobacco... However, I don't dabble in either, in fact, I've never been able to understand how people can be so "weak" they have to depend on some kind of artificial substance to "feel better". I am certainly not going to go into details but you better believe I've been through more s°%+ in my life than anyone could possibly imagine. If anything, it's made me stronger, without the "benefit" of any kind of drugs, legal or otherwise.and I'm not about to start drugging myself now.

I can perfectly understand marijuana used for medical purposes, but that's as far as I go. Thumb me down as much as you like but those who do can only be a bunch of drug-addict wimps.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Marijuana is harmful, medicinal and natural, legalise it for use at home or for medical use outlaw this synthetic rubbish.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should have read Marijuana is H A R M L E S S.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think you are way off trying to say MJ and tobacco are in the same league, REMzzz. For one, tobacco is not beneficial in any way. Second, there are other ways to ingest cannabis other than smoking it, and for those that do smoke it, the amount consumed is way less for the average MJ user compared to the average smoker, which means much less lung damage for MJ.

Also, I don't think you can equate MJ "addiction" with the serious hardcore addiction that results from nicotine.

I'm not anti-tobacco by any means and don't have any problem with people smoking cigarettes, but I think you are making a mistake trying to equate the two as being roughly equal

I don't equate the two, in fact, it's Ted Barrera who is making that assumption, having said this:

PROFIT! The tobacco industry would stand to lose billions if marijuana were legalized.

And i replied to say that they are way different, and was voted down because people agree with Ted and not me.

Regarding the routes of administration, yea, i'm aware of pot brownies. The stomach route gives a different effect, more useful for the medical users who have body pains. On the other hand, those who want to be high prefer to inhale, be it smoke or vapors, because from the lungs it goes straight to the brain.

The thing is, those who i've had to argue with, politely, i might add, smoke their marijuana, and then cite medical consumption (mostly brownies/oral) as a proof of safety. But tar is tar. They hold the smoke longer and many don't use a filter when they roll, so absolute safety is a myth.

tobacco is not beneficial in any way

That's a myth also. Nicotine has been shown to help treat Alzheimer's disease, and there were noticeable improvements in the patients, who were prescribed nicotine patches, compared to the placebo group. It's a benefit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And the mental/emotional comfort it gives me. Better than any kind of anti-depressants. That aspect gets mistaken for being the "addiction", but no, it was there from the beginning for me. It's what's made me try it in the first place, the calm and clarity it gave me.... i was stuck having to wait a few minutes in an awfully smoky room one day. I was annoyed, but had to be polite and wait for my parents to sort things out. I was a guest in the house and there was nothing i could say. After a few minutes i gave up trying to hold my breath, and just said to myself, ok nevermind the smell, it's only 20 minutes, i can handle this... i was 12 at the time...

And then the smell of smoke went from bad to slightly sweet and i felt a foreign kind of calm, artificial... it happened gradually over 15 minutes but it was just what i needed, when it was stressful situation i had no control over (no not talking about the smell). I tried to stand closer and catch whisps of smoke i could inhale, because i thought there was no harm, i'm not smoking (insane i know, but that's what was going thru my mind... i wanted to be sure what made me feel that way)

And then the evening of that day i felt kind of empty, i couldn't comprehend it but i was missing that calm. It took a few days before i had the courage to walk over to that house, and after spending some time, sheepishly ask for a cigarette. I was a shy kid.

But i could never imagine consuming any other drug, much less this artificial herb. I like calm, not psychosis.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh so many replies. And it seems that i've unknowingly replied to Ted. Too funny.

But no, it wasn't curiosity. I detested it. I hated when people smoked around me but the physiological need to breathe took over, and my mental state was such that i noticed the difference it made.

It was almost like karma, i got what i hated, but i gave up trying to fight, because i loved it and the absolute deathgrip it had on me even after a short time.

I doubt i would have encountered marijuana or the fake herb in the same circumstances.

Regarding the loss of profit, i really doubt it. If someone is not disgusted by smoking, they will likely try both, and those who naturally like the feel of tobacco would end up drawn into the habit. Even if marijuana is decriminalized, there are workplace regulations in place that prohibit marijuana use but not tobacco. I guess you and i look at it differently, but oh well. Disagreements make the world a more interesting place :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thumbs up to @Viking

@Ted Barrera, it's not withdrawal of anti-depressants that leads to suicidal ideation, it's the anti-depressants themselves. It's But tobacco, marijuana and kava kava do not.

Tobacco and kava contain mono-amine oxidase inhibitors, which also have an anti-depressant effect, but differently than SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) which are known for the suicide hazard.

Withdrawal for any habit forming substance can make one feel awful, but when the substance itself induces some degree of mental illness, such as this fake weed, or SSRI anti-depressants it's a whole different problem...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just make it so the real herb doesn't have to evade any laws any more, and we won't have these medical emergencies w/the fake stuff.

RE tobacco, Keep in mind most brands of cigarettes are like this fake herb in that (depending on the brand) 40-60 or 70% IS NOT TOBACCO but wood chips SPRAYED WITH A CHEMICAL RECIPEE designed to try and keep you addicted to just that brand. Furthermore a lot of researchers say that the diseases caused by smoking, various cancers, emphysema, etc etc really come from these chemicals. I am a very occasional smoker, 1-10 butts every several mos, if I smoke Camel or Marlboro I get very nauseous right away. If I smoke American Spirit or hand-rolled I am fine. I am sure the tar and nicotine aren't good for you (beyond short-term stress-releif) but the chem stuff is certainly awful. (I can easily imagine this fake chem herb to be both dangerous and counter-productive in the having-fun and relaxing goal department.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ REMzzz

Thanks for the reply. I actually found it to be quite an interesting story. As you say, disagreements make the world a more interesting place. And trust me when I say I mean well by saying this, but be careful with whatever you smoke, be it cigarettes, marijuana, or these so called legal herbs. Smoking anything is just asking to develop health issues. I stopped when I got a chronic case of bronchitis and almost had to be hospitalized. My grandfather used to smoke a pack a day (not sure how much you smoke) and he now has emphysema, diabetes, and heart and kidney problems (could be just old age, but the doc attributes it mainly to his smoking habits). Just a few words of concern from one stranger to another.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Give them some damn marijuana and these things wont happen.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

more than half of the calls were made by, or on behalf of, people in their 20s.

Yup, it will be the young people who end up taking too much or using it incorrectly because they have little or no experience with any kind of drugs. But this happens with alcohol as well. How many teenagers have to go to the hospital to get their stomach pumped after excessive alcohol consumption?

Legalizing marijuana would quickly eliminate the need for many of these chemical substitutes. If it were regulated properly, there would be fewer youngsters able to get their hands on it and there would be labels stating the side effects. Plus hundreds of thousands of people suffering from cancer or other painful diseases could have access to an effective medicine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@REMzzz

Vapors don't have tar, and even smoking is way less harmful due to the sheer difference in quantity consumed between the two. Also, I didn't see anyone say absolute safety here, but you seem to think the lung damage is close enough to be comparable and I think you are way off with that.

I loved your nostalgic childhood memories of cigarettes smoke taking you in and calming you like a warm, foggy embrace, but I think you might be having a bit of creative memory there. From what I've read, it's not that nicotine calms you, but that it just removes the anxiety and craving you have from withdrawal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

stranger,

nicotine very definitely calms you. (Probably unlike this fake pot). When I am stressed about something and smoke, It relieves the stress. A smoke will relax all that tension and put your whole body at piece. Native Americans called it a medicine and I think it has its place. (In case you didn't read my previous post, I am an extremely occasional smoker. I have had a pack in my freezer for the last yr, and it is still 1/2 full. So no withdrawal.)

Where does it say cigarettes are good for Alzheimer's?? Could this fake pot be good for Alzheimer's?? (joke).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Could never stand the stuff but I support anyone who wants to use marijuana. It has more tar than cigarettes but without all the heavy metals so ones body can get rid of it. A natural grown substance should not be regulated if it's not 100% toxic. Especially when alcohol is legal and in it's pure form is toxic. If this other crap is "synthetic" it is NOT a herb!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nicotine very definitely calms you. (Probably unlike this fake pot). When I am stressed about something and smoke, It relieves the stress.

According to wiki, it's both a stimulant and a relaxant. Not quite sure how that's supposed to work. In any case, even if it has some calming qualities and the "calming" isn't just the cessation of the craving, only all natural tobacco would be worth messing with. The tobacco companies products are extremely addictive and full of all kinds of extra chemicals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vapors don't have tar [...]

@Stranger, if you're trying to discredit me, try arguing with something i actually said :)

[...] Also, I didn't see anyone say absolute safety here, but you seem to think the lung damage is close enough to be comparable and I think you are way off with that.

Please re-read what i said. Says it all right there:

The thing is, those who i've had to argue with, politely, i might add, smoke their marijuana, and then cite medical consumption (mostly brownies/oral) as a proof of safety. But tar is tar. They hold the smoke longer and many don't use a filter when they roll, so absolute safety is a myth.

The people with whom i have debated in person believe that my consumption of tobacco is 100% harmful and them smoking their MJ is 100% safe. And they go on to tell me that i should switch to MJ and all the problems would be solved. Ted Barrera had gone painfully close to saying what sounded like the same thing, and that's what set me off. In retrospect i can see that he didn't mean to, but with so many people attacking my choice and habit, i'm often on the edge about it.

Too many people bring nothing but ignorance and popular opinion to the table, and while their points are relatively easy to disprove, they often go from attacking the substance to attacking the smoker. Makes one feel like a living billboard instead of just a consumer. Makes me feel like i'm on my own, and the only thing in life i can really lean on emotionally is what the busybodies are so busy going after, even when i go out of the way to not affect their life. But the lingering smell on my clothes means the whole thing just starts all over again. Living billboard again, though i don't feel that i have to represent and defend the industry when it's simply my individual choice.

I loved your nostalgic childhood memories of cigarette smoke taking you in and calming you like a warm, foggy embrace, but I think you might be having a bit of creative memory there. From what I've read, it's not that nicotine calms you, but that it just removes the anxiety and craving you have from withdrawal.

It only happened a little over ten years ago. Long time, yes, but not long enough to affect my memory of it. It was never a warm foggy embrace, it was surreal and artificial.

The "active ingredients" in cigarette smoke are nicotine, MAOIs (harman and norharman, which are also found in kava and syrian rue [aka harmala], as well as a few other MAOIs i don't remember the names of), and lastly, acetaldehyde from burning sugar.

They all affect the brain chemistry. Marijuana smoke also has several active constituants, including acetaldehyde again. This it the problem with the fake herb, that it is very one-sided, having only one mind altering substance instead of all the others that are present in the real thing. Same reason why nicotine gum and patches do very little to help a person quit, since it's not the whole range of substances, but one, taken out of its usual context. It's like having a piano with only two keys working. It's still a piano but you can't play a whole song. You can't strip the whole complexity of a plant down to one chemical and expect it to work the same way.

The nicotine made me feel a little too alert, like coffee... when i said a strange, foreign, artifical calm, that's what i meant. It felt "chemical", if that's a way to describe it. The other two things, the MAO inhibitors and acetaldehyde have a calming effect, and that's what i felt. Clarity, calm and alertness... with time, the feeling of it being artificial faded, and that's the line between being exposed to it for the first time, and tolerance/addiction.

Nostalgic? Hardly. The cravings were nightmarish. Sometimes i literally couldn't sleep, laid there thinking of one thing only. Not something i was prepared for or fully understood at that age.

When you're a child, some poisonous things can still be fascinating, like loose beads of mercury. Whisps of smoke too, but the smell was overpowering and too harsh. However, when there's not a warm embrace or a word of reassurance, even a strange chemical comfort is welcome. It just happened. I wasn't prepared, i thought i could walk away from it, a common mistake. It made me feel more in control and drew a line between the world around me and what went on in my mind, a wonderful feeling, worlds away from any drug or herb that people take to feel high. Calm, optimism and a sunny feeling not too different from as if i had a good meal, that nothing could shatter the positive well grounded attitude. Nothing like it. Too bad it faded so fast and i was stuck with constant cravings... at least not anymore :)

@Lowly, please see the middle section of this post. It's not only nicotine, but 3 things, so it's not surprising to feel a sense of calm from that combination. Nicotine alone is like caffeine

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

RE tobacco, Keep in mind most brands of cigarettes are like this fake herb in that (depending on the brand) 40-60 or 70% IS NOT TOBACCO but wood chips SPRAYED WITH A CHEMICAL RECIPEE designed to try and keep you addicted to just that brand. Furthermore a lot of researchers say that the diseases caused by smoking, various cancers, emphysema, etc etc really come from these chemicals

Oh, most definitely. I know what you mean. It's the ammoniated recon you are talking about. Stems and stalks are liquefied using salts of ammonia, which also make the mash more alkaline, "freebasing" all the nicotine. Then they add other fiber as a filler, and "tobacco absolute", an extract used to flavor the stuff. Sugar is added to help the flavor and to produce more acetaldehyde, which is also addictive. This semi-tobacco substance is dried and made into "paper" that is then mixed with fairly normal tobacco. Not the most pleasant thing :)

It was actually American Spirits that got me started in the first place. If the smell was of Marb Reds, i would have still held my breath...

Unfortunately, since the time RJR bought Santa Fe Natural, they've let their standards slip a little. But it's still better :)

As for the fake herb, i'm pretty sure the spraying is not uniform, so even the same pouch can have variances in strength and toxicity. And no, there is no relaxation in paranoia. "Counter-productive" is a good way to put it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just a few words of concern from one stranger to another.

Thanks Ted. I've never had anyone approach me like this or care enough to understand how i feel.

I do watch my intake and keep it to half a pack, though i always wish i could have more. As for your grandpa, heart and lung problems are definitely from smoking, but kidney disease is only caused by diabetes. The eyes are next if it's not taken care of. Diabetes has many causes, but mostly blood sugar spikes from eating big meals many hours apart, and mechanical pressure from slouching and letting the body weight rest on the pancreas. If those two things are taken care of, it'll get a bit better, even for someone his age. I'm not a doctor, but there is one in my family, so i pay attention to this subject and do my best to understand.

But take care of yourself too :)

Bronchitis sounds awful. I take it that it was around the time of the FSC "surprise". I'm allergic to those fumes, so i realized something was amiss before i became seriously ill. Thousands got hospitalized though when those plastic bands were added to cigarette paper, perhaps a lot more than the number of "herb" users that went to the hospital. It's time the FDA did something about it, and perhaps took steps to regulate the "herb".

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As a Psych RN in a busy Oregon ED, I am running into patients who have ingested either bath salts or spice with ridiculous regularity. It is no better than Meth. It's scary, and it is destroying peoples lives. It triggers a psychotic event, and these people are very, very difficult to treat. While this is fairly new, one thing is frightening, after only one experience, permanent damage seems to occur. Also, once the psychosis clears, it is very likely to re-occur, without further use, several days later. The presentation of the symptoms is almost always significant for extremely violent, even homicidal, impulses.

I think, now, that unless you have a family history or personal history, of mental illness, that mushrooms, even LSD, and marijuana, are fairly benign. But baths and spice are, very literally, rolling the dice. We need to educate, quickly, everyone, regarding the dangers of these substances. Frankly, it's the scariest thing I've seen in a long time.

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What's with all the off-topic marijuana chit-chat??

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By the way, what's up with most of these soft-drug addicts, looking and smelling like crap, only being able to work part-time jobs, being close to illiterate, having no sense of what's going on around them, not caring about their family (members), getting into all kinds of trouble with the law, arrested & imprisoned, losing friends and track of time/reality, resorting to threats and violence, and ALWAYS blame sh*t on others?

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What's with all the off-topic marijuana chit-chat??

Sidechat? Yeah. It's there.

u mad?

By the way, what's up with most of these soft-drug addicts, looking and smelling like crap, only being able to work part-time jobs, being close to illiterate, having no sense of what's going on around them, not caring about their family (members), getting into all kinds of trouble with the law, arrested & imprisoned, losing friends and track of time/reality, resorting to threats and violence, and ALWAYS blame sh*t on others?

Of all this, only "smelling" (like smoke) applies to me. Not all "soft drugs" are the same, my friend. What you describe actually sound more like hard drug addicts. Crime? Violence? Not caring about anything besides drugs? Losing track of time? That's hard drugs, without a doubt. Meth, to be exact.

Bath salts, based on mephedrine, itself a law-evading "designer" drug until it was banned in some countries... are actually close to methamphetamine in terms of anti-social side effects. The ER Nurse from Oregon here has it right.

The "herb"/K-2/"Spice" aka incense is imitation Marijuana, so talking about the actual thing is not so far off topic. However, it's a poor imitation due to being some sort of plant material sprayed with only one modified cannabioid instead of the half-dozen different psychoactive compounds present in the real thing.

Normally, all those compounds counterbalance each other, but when it's only one of them and the dose is outside the natural range, it can lead to dangerous side effects.

Anyway, i hope you enjoyed the conversation, however bad you think it was. Now excuse me, i will go have a cigarette :)

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