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Melgar
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[*] posted on 30-6-2017 at 03:32
Street drug analysis / harm reduction


I've been asked to help determine a cutting agent used in an illegal substance, that supposedly has odd effects on people who use it, and is very difficult to separate from mixtures. This could be all delusions in the minds of whoever's dumb enough to keep using this crap after it makes them loopy, but I've been presented with some compelling physical evidence and now I'm pretty curious myself. Apparently, people are divided over whether this is some brand new cutting agent that hasn't been seen before, or whether it's just an old one that's made a comeback, and it would be interesting to settle the matter somehow. I'm just not sure a) whether it would be safer to do preliminary analysis myself, or send a sample somewhere, b) where I might be able to send a sample that would be able to do a proton NMR test of a sample of an illegal substance, possibly containing a new cutting agent, and c) the legality of all of this. Supposedly, there are labs that test drugs for harm reduction purposes, but they may only work for known agents. I'd just as soon not have illegal (though heavily adulterated) substances in my less-than-neat lab, so my first choice would be some sort of third-party analysis. But I don't know where I'd start with that, or the legality of such things. Also unsure of payment, but that shouldn't be an issue.



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[*] posted on 30-6-2017 at 05:25


I would try a preliminary analysis myself assuming you have a large enough sample size. I'd use disposable labware, do it somewhere else, and get rid of the whole kit once you're done.

What is the substance in question? It would help us to brainstorm what the agent might be and some presumptive tests for them.




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[*] posted on 30-6-2017 at 06:38


The Department of Justice has developed a drug analysis kit and tables for numerous drugs and some other substances, documented here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183258.pdf These are designed for field use. I haven't seen a full kit available to the public and it is not trivial to put one together, but it's not outrageously difficult either. Such a kit theoretically might be considered drug paraphernalia if found with drugs or if used for illegal purposes such as testing drugs before purchase, and local police policies may differ, but I think most tolerate and sometimes even promote genuine efforts towards harm reduction.

There are some books on organic qualitative analysis in the ScienceMadness library.





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[*] posted on 30-6-2017 at 06:59


You don't state your location. In the unlikely case that the drug was purchased in the Netherlands, you can submit it for analysis here: https://www.drugs-test.nl/





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[*] posted on 30-6-2017 at 21:55


Ok, well the drug in question is methamphetamine, in the US. Supposedly, it originated in Mexico, and was also cut there. Rumor is that an agent was added to it to make it form large crystals more quickly and easily, and whatever this cutting agent is, they just kept increasing the amount of it, and according to the individual who requested my assistance with determining its identity (Let's call him "John Constantine". Like the movie/comic book.) the cutting agent has oddly specific symptoms. Apparently it makes people get "brain zaps" where they just blank out for a fraction of a second, it makes them feel sleepy immediately after using it, and it makes them act like heroin addicts, just blankly staring into space while they keep using it over and over, chasing a high that never comes. Apparently real meth addicts build shit out of spoons and old bicycle parts or whatever, they don't just sit there using it over and over.

So I did a bit of research and forums are full of meth users who claim they've been using for years and their tolerance just shot up, all at around the same time, a few months ago (February or March). Also, these forums are full of users claiming the exact same set of symptoms relayed to me by John, that they're experiencing from methamphetamine, but never have before. Since somehow this stuff cocrystallizes with methamphetamine HCl, or does something similar, it's nearly impossible to separate via recrystallization. Top contender for its identity is isopropylbenzylamine. Important things to notice: it's achiral, it has a benzyl group on the ammonia, and it's a structural isomer of methamphetamine, as well as a secondary amine like methamphetamine. I was trying to think of ways to cleave the benzyl group in a sample, then separation on the rest should be easy. That would prove at least that it's a benzylamine. If it isn't, then it's a total unknown, although it'd still be a secondary amine with a phenyl group somewhere in it, that gives no result to the marquis test.




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[*] posted on 1-7-2017 at 00:20


Oh, umm... sounds shady.

You could probably use TLC to see if it matches isopropylbenzylamine.




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[*] posted on 1-7-2017 at 01:59


http://ecstasydata.org/
http://pillreports.com/
^one of these guys will test it for you

I wouldn't bother trying to guess it if we don't at least know the drug and maybe a rough description of the effects. There are dozens of nerve cell surface receptors each with trillions of possible small molecule ligands.
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[*] posted on 1-7-2017 at 08:43


TLC and just about every other test is, as I'm told, nearly identical to methamphetamine due to their very close structural similarities, and the fact that they're structural isomers. I'm thinking that maybe the bitartrate salts might be better for making them more easily separated? In any case, I'm going to make sure I've synthesized isopropylbenzylamine at least, before agreeing to test any samples. Seems like the way to go would be benzaldehyde and isopropylamine, but I'm not really sure what to do about the isopropylamine. Hydroxylamine + acetone, then reduce? Or this patent that produces isopropyl sulfate from propylene and sulfuric acid? And complicating things further, there are other benzylamines too, like methyl and ethyl benzylamine, that are also used in the same way.

I guess the other option is benzyl chloride + hexamine, then delepine reaction to get benzylamine, but I've heard reductive aminations don't do well with acetone. Maybe isopropyl bromide + benzylamine then, since the resulting amine would be too sterically hindered to undergo a second isopropyl alkylation?




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[*] posted on 1-7-2017 at 08:56


Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
TLC and just about every other test is, as I'm told, nearly identical to methamphetamine due to their very close structural similarities, and the fact that they're structural isomers.


I'm not sure what your source is for that information, and you may well be correct, but according to a comment made here, that is not the case: https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkNetMarkets/comments/6dg76b/test... They're not that structurally similar.




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[*] posted on 1-7-2017 at 09:18


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
The Department of Justice has developed a drug analysis kit and tables for numerous drugs and some other substances, documented here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183258.pdf These are designed for field use. I haven't seen a full kit available to the public and it is not trivial to put one together, but it's not outrageously difficult either. Such a kit theoretically might be considered drug paraphernalia if found with drugs or if used for illegal purposes such as testing drugs before purchase, and local police policies may differ, but I think most tolerate and sometimes even promote genuine efforts towards harm reduction.

There are some books on organic qualitative analysis in the ScienceMadness library.



I would think if cutting the stuff increases profits then by default a full kit available to the public would harm the illegal drug trade.

In the days of prohibition I bet water often got added to the booze as it was sold from person to person.
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[*] posted on 2-7-2017 at 05:37


Hey Melgar,

I don't know where you're from, but in case you want a lab with proper setup test your sample, you could check out https://energycontrol.org/
If you're from Spain, they'll do it for free, if you're from abroad, it'll cost about 60 EUR, payable in BTC.

The problem you're desribing is interesting. When you said cutting agent to help make it crystallize, I immediately had to think about MSM, methylsulfonylmethane. It supposedly is added to methamphetamine to facilitate the growth of big glass-like shards. However, I don't know whether MSM would create any "brain zaps", although headaches and insomnia are listed as side effects when used as a dietary supplement.

Most of the time, meth gets cut with caffeine and amphetamine. But there's another possibility: how about a novel (or not well-known) research chemical? I remember reports of mephedrone and methcathinone being used as cutting agents for methamphetamine, or sometimes even outright sold as meth. In the past couple years, halogen-substituted amphetamines (like 4-FA) have become increasingly prominent, so maybe that's worth checking out.

I just looked up those "brain zaps" and found out that they are usually associated with MDMA. I have also found reports associated with antidepressants, specifically vilazodone. Some people alluded that this indicates a relationship between brain zaps and the serotonergic system. That would fit the bill for MMC and some haloamphetamines like para-bromoamphetamine.

All this just assuming that this isn't another urban legend that just spread among the drug user community, like they so often do.

[Edited on 2-7-2017 by cabal]
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[*] posted on 2-7-2017 at 10:39


I wonder if they are cutting it with those chemicals they called "bath salts" ? www.google.com/search?q=bath+salt+poisoning+symptoms

Pharmacologically, bath salts usually contain a cathinone, typically methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone or mephedrone; however, the chemical composition varies widely and products labeled with the same name may also contain derivatives of pyrovalerone or pipradrol.
Bath salts (drug) - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_salts_(drug)

What the heck is all that stuff, yuck !!! Could that be the "brain zap" crap ?

What the hell people, if you insist on doing amphetamines memorize the symptoms of ADHD and go to the doctor and have your heath insurance pay for it instead of killing yourself with this street crap.
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[*] posted on 2-7-2017 at 10:46


www.google.com/search?q=wellbutrin+abuse


But I still think its that bath salt stuff or but also maybe that nasty crap they put in "pre workout" ? I read the label and it had those long chemical names that looked amphetamine like.

The marketing on that pre-workout give you jittery anxiety powder: Drink this crap that puts you at risk for heart issues then go out and exert yourself.

Before you workout you 'need' pre-workout... Just put enough ads in the muscle magazines and pictures of people on steroids and everyone will believe it.

Let me know If I solved the whats in the meth puzzle.



[Edited on 2-7-2017 by curiosity_cat]
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[*] posted on 2-7-2017 at 14:06


Quote:
So I did a bit of research and forums are full of meth users who claim they've been using for years and their tolerance just shot up, all at around the same time, a few months ago (February or March). Also, these forums are full of users claiming the exact same set of symptoms relayed to me by John, that they're experiencing from methamphetamine, but never have before. Since somehow this stuff cocrystallizes with methamphetamine HCl, or does something similar, it's nearly impossible to separate via recrystallization. Top contender for its identity is isopropylbenzylamine. Important things to notice: it's achiral, it has a benzyl group on the ammonia, and it's a structural isomer of methamphetamine, as well as a secondary amine like methamphetamine. I was trying to think of ways to cleave the benzyl group in a sample, then separation on the rest should be easy. That would prove at least that it's a benzylamine. If it isn't, then it's a total unknown, although it'd still be a secondary amine with a phenyl group somewhere in it, that gives no result to the marquis test.


I missed this before. Brain zaps are a known side-effect of a little known class of drugs called SSRAs. In fact, a sudden tolerance buildup is also symptomatic of SSRAs -- not the drugs alone, but when combined with stimulants, they cause the brain to phosphorylate and internalize (destroy) its monoamine transporters, resulting in less activity for either drug. This receptor phosphorylation is part of the effects which contribute to post-MDMA-abuse depression syndromes. The SSRAs were initially introduced as MDMA substitutes, but discontinued due to a combination of disappointing primary effects and unpleasant side effects.

But, perhaps most notably, SSRAs provide extreme euphoria when combined with amphetamines, but only the first few times. If you use it the way a meth addict does, that euphoria soon gives way to anhedonia.

Anyway, SSRAs include IAP, IMP, MDAI, MDMAI, and 5-MAPB. It could be one of these, or something else like them. In particular, IAP and IMP have very similar chemistry to methamphetamine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indanylaminopropane

Context: I used to be a moderator of bluelight.org

[Edited on 2-7-2017 by clearly_not_atara]
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[*] posted on 3-7-2017 at 09:28


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
I'm not sure what your source is for that information, and you may well be correct, but according to a comment made here, that is not the case: https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkNetMarkets/comments/6dg76b/test... They're not that structurally similar.

That user has later posts, where he says that it could be isopropylbenzylamine, although tests he did on it showed mixed results as to whether that's what it was. He also said that a lot of the information he was able to find on it was only anecdotal and probably not reliable. Sent him a PM there anyway to see if he has any new info.

To respond to a bunch of people at once: The aforementioned Mr. Constantine has been doing field research, interviewing people who have come across this stuff. Much of it DOES have bath salts in it, but those seem to have been added downstream, to compensate for the overall low purity of what middlemen were receiving. The prime contender still seems to be isopropylbenzylamine, which isn't especially psychoactive. However, a typical methamphetamine user will use perhaps a quarter of a gram in a day. If what they purchased is 75% isopropylbenzylamine, they're likely to use four times as much, meaning 750 mg of isopropylbenzylamine. That much of virtually any secondary monoamine seems all but certain to give people weird side effects.

I was thinking about the economics of it, and realized that if one entity was able to corner the market for a particular drug, it would then be to their benefit to deliberately vary the purity of it. They'd have to cycle between high and low purity, such that there isn't enough time during a low-purity cycle for a competitor to steal business from them. The cycle would have to be such that as soon as any competitor started to gain traction, markets would be flooded by high-quality dope again. By doing it this way, they could make a ton of money not just by selling fake drugs as real drugs, but because the users would actually buy MORE of the low-quality stuff because they'd need more in order to have any effects from it. It's kind of evil, but I guess that should be expected from groups that pile their enemies' torsos in public places as a warning.




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[*] posted on 3-7-2017 at 17:44


yep. Isopropylbenzylamine. "Speed" that comes with its own pillow. There is a report out of San Diego DEA documenting the fact that the cartels are actually packaging and smuggling it in just as it was true d-desoxyephedrine.

Characteristics:

The "rocks" are markedly softer than the real deal;
The "crackback" in a pipe noticeably (even when tweaked) different than real deal;
Shit stays CLEAR when smoked, never gets the brownish look of the real deal;
Makes you TIRED.

Marquis reagent is a damn good field test for it. With a little experience one can tell the extent of cutting by rate or lack of color change. Available inexpensively with color chart on eBay.

Quote:
I was thinking about the economics of it, and realized that if one entity was able to corner the market for a particular drug, it would then be to their benefit to deliberately vary the purity of it. They'd have to cycle between high and low purity, such that there isn't enough time during a low-purity cycle for a competitor to steal business from them. The cycle would have to be such that as soon as any competitor started to gain traction, markets would be flooded by high-quality dope again.


^^^ Go to the head of the class. In my personal experience though they sell straight bunk or straight good shit. HUGE profits as the bunk is an inexpensive legal industrial chemical.

been googling trying to find that report and failing ATM but my brain is impaired a bit due to the opiates I am getting here in hospital. Think I have it somewhere on my HDD but that is needle/haystack thing too. If/when I find it will post.

Very good info




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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 03:16


They are some association providing analysis depending of your country:
https://www.reddit.com/r/ReagentTesting/wiki/labs

this spanish organisation can perfom a full analysis of anything for 70EUR
https://energycontrol-international.org/drug-testing-service...

If you want to try yourself, Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons 4th (ask on U2U) is a good source for chromatography analysis. https://www.reddit.com/r/ReagentTesting/wiki/nps page is a good compilation of sources too, and http://bunkpolice.com/browse/ that offer a big library of reagent testing result.

[Edited on 4-7-2017 by brubei]
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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 04:02


@brubei

bunkpolice.com is a wonderful link. Thanx.




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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 09:29


d-Methamphetamine hydrochloride - Melting Point = 172 - 174c

N-Isopropylbenzylamine hydrochloride - Melting Point = 192 - 193.3c


Has anybody got any ACCURATE solubility data for these two compounds.
All I could find was DCM and acetone.


Also see attachments


/CJ


Attachment: 6.1-2.36.45.pdf (483kB)
This file has been downloaded 250 times

Attachment: 08 Fall.pdf (525kB)
This file has been downloaded 186 times

[Edited on 4-7-2017 by Corrosive Joeseph]




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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 00:04


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  
yep. Isopropylbenzylamine. "Speed" that comes with its own pillow. There is a report out of San Diego DEA documenting the fact that the cartels are actually packaging and smuggling it in just as it was true d-desoxyephedrine.

I'd heard that they'd attempt to smuggle the isopropylbenzylamine in first, then send the real stuff in after it if the fake stuff got through okay. Then rather than just throw the fake stuff out, they'd use it to cut the real stuff to shit on the US side.

Quote:
Characteristics:

The "rocks" are markedly softer than the real deal;
The "crackback" in a pipe noticeably (even when tweaked) different than real deal;
Shit stays CLEAR when smoked, never gets the brownish look of the real deal;
Makes you TIRED.

So, uh, what about tests that don't require me to smoke it? Assuming it's adulterated, that'd mean it'd give a melting point test indicative of a mixture, right? So like, according to Google, methamphetamine HCl has a melting point of 175˚C. I asked Constantine if he could do a melting point test, since that came up as a potential test last weekend. (He's several states away, at the moment.) He just got back to me and said it starts crystallizing at 160, and finishes at 150. So it's definitely cut, although we kind of knew that already. However, isopropylbenzylamine is supposed to have a significantly HIGHER melting point, so it's odd that a heavily-cut sample would have such a low melting point, assuming that's the cutting agent.

Quote:
^^^ Go to the head of the class. In my personal experience though they sell straight bunk or straight good shit. HUGE profits as the bunk is an inexpensive legal industrial chemical.

The bunk would have to be at least 15-25% real, no? Just barely enough to make it better than nothing.

Quote:
Very good info

It would be nice if there were tests there that didn't involve smoking it or injecting it. *shudder* Also, I don't have any pure methamphetamine to use as a standard to compare using tests like the Marquis test. Constantine claims that Marquis test shows "weak positive", whatever that means.




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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 09:07


Combining two different crystal structures would presumably increase disorder and thus lower the melting point. Methamphetamine and isopropylbenzylamine (if that's what it is) are not as similar as melamine and cyanuric acid that they would form a low-energy cocrystal; it's likely to be more like an alloy.

Quote:
what about tests that don't require me to smoke it?


Here's an idea: try hydrogenating the stuff over Pd/C. Isopropylbenzylamine should release isopropylamine and toluene, whereas methamphetamine should show no reaction.

[Edited on 5-7-2017 by clearly_not_atara]
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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 09:35


Melgar,

I would be careful with this if I were you. I have heard that even purifying an illicit drug that you purchased can cause you to come away with manufacturing-like charges, so if you are performing bench work on a sample of an illegal compound, then it could make things more difficult for you, especially if you don't have the licenses required for said work.

This also presents the case that at some point in the future if someone ever does come to take a look at what you've got, they might be able to find trace amounts of the drug on your glassware or equipment.

Not worth it in my opinion.

Danger, Will Robinson!
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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 10:55


Quote: Originally posted by Loptr  
Melgar,

I would be careful with this if I were you. I have heard that even purifying an illicit drug that you purchased can cause you to come away with manufacturing-like charges, so if you are performing bench work on a sample of an illegal compound, then it could make things more difficult for you, especially if you don't have the licenses required for said work.

This also presents the case that at some point in the future if someone ever does come to take a look at what you've got, they might be able to find trace amounts of the drug on your glassware or equipment.

Not worth it in my opinion.

Danger, Will Robinson!


Good advice.

the quickest, easiest ghetto ID on this shit is what dopeheads call "crackback". the recrystallization in the pipe.




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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 11:29


I think 'cleary_not' has nailed it here........... Debenzylation by hydrogenolysis - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogenolysis

I was only pondering this last night and did wonder if the isopropylamine would have any reaction with the meth.......


/CJ




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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 11:48


Quote: Originally posted by Loptr  
Melgar,

I would be careful with this if I were you. I have heard that even purifying an illicit drug that you purchased can cause you to come away with manufacturing-like charges, so if you are performing bench work on a sample of an illegal compound, then it could make things more difficult for you, especially if you don't have the licenses required for said work.

This also presents the case that at some point in the future if someone ever does come to take a look at what you've got, they might be able to find trace amounts of the drug on your glassware or equipment.

Not worth it in my opinion.

Danger, Will Robinson!


Another thing I am curious about is why the interest in identifying this particular impurity? I am sure there are a multitude of compounds that could be used in this way that would produce the same effects biologically, so there isn't likely any novelty to the impurity. That would be the only reason I can find for interest in identifying it, other than the five finger exercise of going through the steps to separate and characterize it.


[Edited on 5-7-2017 by Loptr]




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