Archive for the 'Cannabinoids' Category

Bath Salts? It’s really a drug and it’s legal!

By now most people have heard of Synthetic Cannabinoids, i.e. K-2, Spice, etc. The newest craze is Bath Salts – watch Dr. Oz report on this.



Top Signs Your Child May Be Using Drugs or Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) 2008 “Monitoring The Future” study on illicit drug and alcohol use by teens and youth, drug use trends that concern both parents and schools reflect:


  • 10.9% of 8th graders, 23.9% of 10th graders and 32.4% of 12th graders use marijuana
  • 15.4% of 12th graders have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Vicodin continues to be abused at high levels.
  • 2.7% of 8th graders, 7.2% of 10th graders and 9.6% of 12th graders had abused Vicodin
  • 1.8% of 8th graders, 3.9% of 10th graders and 5.2% of 12th graders had abused OxyContin for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed

From peer pressure to looking for a way to deal with family and life challenges, drug and alcohol use by teens is a problem. More importantly, parents and schools may work hand-in-hand in monitoring and managing substance abuse.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of teen drug and/or alcohol use? The short list includes:

  • Behavioral issues
    • Changes in relationships with family members or friends
    • Mood changes or emotional instability
    • Withdrawn or depressed; uncommunicative
    • Periods of sleeplessness or high energy, followed by long periods of sleeping
  • Absenteeism or loss of interest in school or extracurricular activities
  • Failure to fulfill responsibilities at school or home
  • Disappearance of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as alcohol or money
  • Personal appearance, habits or action changes
    • Poor hygiene and personal care
    • Track marks on arms or legs
    • Frequently breaking curfew
    • Using over-the-counter eye reddening washes and/or breath mints and gum more frequently

ExperTox supports both parents and schools through its drug and alcohol testing services designed to target those most vulnerable areas of substance abuse by youth and teens. Alternative specimen testing options allow for drug detection over varying time periods, from recent use to six months or more, including oral fluid, blood, urine, hair and nails.

These tests include:

  • Drug Tests
  • Alcohol Tests
  • Synthetic Opiates such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone (OxyContin)

Possible Addition to the K2 Legislation in Texas

This was on the news on KHOU Channel 11 in Houston, TX this week.

Comprehensive K2 Legislation in TX

Read more about the new bill being brought to the Texas Senate this week. It is the most comprehensive bill in the country!

A mother’s view: Smoking K2 became fatal error for son

The following article was published in the Duluth News Tribune on August 29,2010 and with the author’s permission we are republishing it here.

Duluth, please ban the synthetic THC substance found in K2, Spice, California Dream and other marijuana-mimicking products.

On May 15, my son, Charlie Davel, smoked K2 and within hours died after leading police on a high-speed chase, turning the wrong way onto a freeway and hitting a parked tow truck. His vehicle was traveling faster than 100 mph.

This was not my son in his right mind.

He had many things going for him. He was a devout Christian and a star wrestler in high school. He was college-bound, had just bought a fishing license and so much more.

We, his friends and family, believe K2 was the major factor that caused him to act irrationally, costing him his life.

The officer investigating Charlie’s death, Detective Jay Dunston of Waukesha County, told us about K2 several days after Charlie’s death. I had never heard of it. The officer learned Charlie had used it after conducting interviews with those who had spent time with Charlie in the hours before his death.

Charlie is far from the only person victimized by this substance. In early June 2010, David Rozga of Indianola, Iowa, smoked K2 and then went home and shot himself. I have been in contact with David’s parents. I also have been in contact with the mother of a young man in Hastings, Minn., hospitalized after smoking K2. Just a few weeks ago, the state of Indiana began to announce documented injuries with K2. More recently, I read of Derek McQueen, who smoked K2 and tried to slit his throat. I am attempting to have contact with him. The son of Rick Bell and Cheryl Berg of the Eau Claire, Wis., area, smoked K2 and has been hospitalized for more than two months. Their stories are featured elsewhere on this page.

I have several friends in ER nursing. They say more and more young people are coming into the emergency room with the severe effects of K2 and similar products. Earlier this spring they had patients who came in, and the medical staff had no idea what they had taken.

When Charlie died, only two states had made these substances illegal. Today there are at least eight.

This stuff is poison! It is unregulated, and you never know how potent a batch will be.

Taxpayers will have to pay lots of unnecessary money if this substance is not made illegal. My son’s ambulance bill alone was nearly $2,000. His emergency room visit, to say he was dead, was more than $5,000. As a 19-year-old adult, he was responsible for the bill. The financial department of the hospital called and left a message for him to say so. (Gosh, don’t they talk to each other there?)

I have heard the officer who chased Charlie was assigned administrative duty for awhile as a result. That means he’s not out fighting crime. How much does that cost? I am guessing he also will receive post-traumatic counseling.

The Sheriff’s Department closed the freeway for four hours after Charlie’s crash. The Highway Department spent hours cleaning up the site. This included picking up pieces of automobile and cleaning flesh, blood and a variety of fluids. I have no idea the financial burden of the county for this. Not to mention the emotional trauma of everyone involved. If I were a highway worker, I would rather plow snow and fix roads than clean up a horrific accident scene in the middle of the night.

The state Department of Transportation must have been involved, too. It sent Charlie a letter a week after the accident to say his license was suspended. I think the letter said the suspension was because he was driving way too fast. (Gosh, doesn’t anyone communicate?)

The city of Duluth will make the right decision when it bans the sale, possession and use of this poison. We won’t know how many lives such an action will save. We won’t know how much emotional pain, agony and heartache will be prevented. We won’t know how much taxpayer money will be saved. But we do know that if this product continues to be legally available, more will die, more will hurt and more will pay.

Teens and young adults often participate in risky behavior. My son was no exception. About once or twice a year, it seemed, he did something without thinking it through. This time, it cost him his life. And every day I ask myself, “Why?”

Maybe so his story will save others.

Bonnie Davel lives in Waukesha, Wis.

K-2 on the Houston News

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I saw this clip on the news and thought I would share it as it directly relates to the previous blog.

How Safe is Spice or K-2?

One of my friends had surgery recently and has really had a very difficult time dealing with the pain from the surgery. Yesterday she made a comment on her Face Book page that she was going to ask her doctor for a prescription for a stronger pain medication. Someone “jokingly” recommended that she go buy some “Spice” since it is supposed to have the same effects as THC and is legal in Texas.

My heart about went to my throat! Knowing that we test for not only JWH-018 but also an entire Synthetic Cannabinoid panel and having done some reading on these substances I was hoping and praying that my friend would not follow through with that.

The reality is that no one really knows what the long term effects of using these synthetic cannabinoids have on the human body.  According to Marilyn Huestis, PhD, chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the National Institute for Drug Abuse,  “When you take these drugs, you are hijacking the part of the brain important for many functions: temperature control, food intake, perception, memory, and problem solving, and people taking these high-potency drugs are affecting other important functions throughout their bodies — hormone functions, for example.” To see more about the possible effects go to

The standard drug tests do not detect for these synthetic cannabinoid drugs. It requires a specialized testing process. So many people are using this as a substitute for marijuana and when going for either pre-employment or random drug tests, testing negative.

Currently JWH-018 and the other Synthetic Cannabinoid drugs are not federally controlled in the United States. However, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency it is labeled as a “Drug and chemical of Concern” in 2009. While it may not be federally controlled, several states have passed or proposed legislative action against spice and some cannabinoids.

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota and Tennessee it is illegal (either to have in your possession or the sale of JWH-018 and/or other synthetic cannanbinoids) in all or parts of these states. The following states have either legislation proposed or impending enaction against JWH-018 and/or other synthetic cannanbinoids: Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas and Utah.

One Source…Numerous Options…Differences That Matter!

ExperTox® is a recognized forensic toxicology laboratory, combining advanced technology and science with a human heart.

We use our scientific expertise to provide our customers answers to their substance abuse, use and exposure questions.

We focus our personal character on supporting, caring for and understanding what our clients are going through as they contemplate and proceed through the testing process.

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