Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gravel: human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria?


News reports surfaced over the past few days about a new drug named “gravel”.
Yes, gravel…what a great name.
A new drug! Worst drug I’ve seen in years! Most dangerous drug ever!
Oh, the hyperbole!
But, what is it?
This news article states that it is a combination drug of methamphetamine, Klonopin (clonazepam) and "bath salts".
And these YouTube videos (1 and 2) from November 2013 state it's a drug sweeping the nation...
"Last year we were dealing with bath salts...and this year, it's gravel..."
"Gravel is the new drug...it's like the new 'crack'...it's like 'crack' for my generation."
In all my dealings with emerging drugs and substances, I have heard the term "gravel" used in reference to one specific research chemical:  Alpha-PVP or alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone.
 
Alpha-PVP, patented in 1967, is a substituted cathinone that is structurally related to methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and pyrovalerone with the main structural differences being a 3,4-methylendioxyl and methyl group respectively. MDPV and pyrovalerone have been shown to affect dopamine and norepinephrine in the body. The pharmacological mechanism of action for alpha-PVP is thought to be similar, but it is unknown at this time as no published data is available regarding in vivo or in vitro activity. It has a molecular formula C15H21NO and a molecular weight equal to 231.3 g/mol. Alternative names for this substance are PVP and desmethylpyrovalerone. On January 28, 2014, the US federal government filed a notice of intent to use its emergency scheduling powers to place alpha-PVP, along with 9 other cathinones into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
There are some earlier news articles that seem to corroborate that "gravel" is alpha-PVP.
From August 2013, this article states that common names for alpha-PVP are "gravel" and "ice".

From October 2013, this article states that the substance is alpha-PVP and it is often mixed with other substances such as methamphetamine and Klonopin (the same previously mentioned substances again?)
From November 2013, this article states “gravel” is a street term used to describe a substance containing the compound alpha-PVP…”
Another article from November 2013 states "approximately 64 grams of what was thought to be “gravel” was found. “Gravel” is a synthetic drug that contains the chemical Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (Alpha-PVP)."

A new article from January 27, 2014 states that lab results show that confiscated material was positive for alpha-PVP. This article also shows a rather graphic picture of a user's arm who was supposedly injecting the "gravel" material. I have seen this picture floating around Facebook and Twitter today along with a story of a user who had been injecting the "gravel" substance.
.....
So, if this "new" drug "gravel" is truly alpha-PVP, then it is not new at all and honestly not worthy of such hysteria.  Alpha-PVP has been commonly found in "bath salt" powders, tablets, and associated products since 2011 when it became an MDPV replacement after MDPV's placement into Schedule I. Much like other synthetic stimulants and cathinone substances, it has been associated with death or contributing to cause of death. It is commonly monitored in cathinone, stimulant, or "bath salt" laboratory assays. And as with any street product or "bath salt" concoction, one can never be sure if the drug is cut with an agent or if it is undiluted active ingredient or if it even contains a drug substance at all.

In conclusion:

1. "Gravel" is the name for a drug substance that contains Alpha-PVP.
2. "Gravel" may or may not contain other substances.
3. "Gravel" has been in existence for a few years.

I'm hoping to head this one off at the pass unlike the krokodil hysteria that was perpetuated by the media at the end of 2013. With the pictures that I have seen on social media and the recent news article proliferation, it may be difficult, but let's hope we can...
Cheers,
 
ForensicToxGuy


"Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear."



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