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THIS JUST IN! 

LATEST DRUG TRENDS INFO-2015

Methamphetamine indicators are now as high or higher than they were before the pseudoephedrine ban. Since 2013, methamphetamine has been the drug most commonly reported by forensic laboratories, outranking both cocaine and cannabis. It is ranked by DEA as the #1 threat in the Dallas area, #2 in the Houston area, and #4 in the El Paso area. The P2P methamphetamine made in Mexico is increasingly pure and more potent with more reports by outreach workers of use by men who have sex with men and high-risk heterosexuals which will result in increases in STD and HIV. Customs and Border Patrol reports show the seizures along the Texas border in the western part of the border are up by 260 percent and up by 420 percent on the lower border. Methamphetamine dissolved in water is a method of importation into the U.S., where laboratories on the Texas side convert it back into Ice. The increased availability of the drug has led to a decrease in prices; an eight-ball that cost $400 in the summer of 2014 was selling for $225 in February 2015.

Heroin users are becoming younger and less likely to be people of color. Indicators have been rising and the increase of 352 percent in heroin seizures on the western part of the Border may point to a new supply chain to provide heroin to West Texas and New Mexico. The new Mexican “white” heroin transits through Texas to the East but it is not as potent as the South American white.

The synthetic cannabis situation is marked by sporadic clusters of overdoses which may be due to amateur chemists mixing the drugs or bad batches of precursor chemicals. Given the large number of cases reported along the lower border, importation of chemicals from Mexico may be a factor. The chemical ingredients have changed from JWH varieties to AB-Chminaca, AB-Fubinaca, AB Pinaca, and PB-22, and spikes in overdoses continue with $5 sales by street dealers.

The cannabis situation has been influenced by both supply and demand. Supply has seen market changes due to drought in Mexico, gang warfare, and increased border protection, which limited the availability of the Mexican cannabis, which led to increases in home-grown and hydroponic in Texas and now the availability of high quality cannabis from Colorado. The demand for the drug has been influenced by changes in patterns of use with blunts and now electronic cigarettes and the “vaping” of hash oil and “shatter”.

MDMA/Molly/Ecstasy–Warning
  • “Molly” initially referred to ecstasy pills with high quality MDMA powder. After  the MDMA shortage several years ago, the capsules were more likely to contain caffeine, methamphetamine, & methylone with little MDMA.
  • The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction issued a warning in February 2014 that “dangerously high” levels of MDMA were appearing in Europe.
  • MDMA tablets in the Europe in 2012 contained 60 – 100 mg of MDMA, but tablets containing 150 and 200 mg of MDMA are were available in February 2014 and the warning stated they could contain even higher amounts, e.g. 240 mg.
  • Deaths due to potent levels of MDMA have been reported in New York City at a music festival last summer and a recent death in Austin involved MDMA.

UPDATED TRAINING CURRICULUM: “Will they turn you into a zombie? What clinicians need to know about synthetic drugs” (2nd edition). View and download the full training package here