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National Drug Intelligence Center
Kansas Drug Threat Assessment
Other Dangerous Drugs
Other dangerous drugs (ODDs) pose a threat to Kansas. ODDs include the stimulant MDMA; the depressant GHB and its analogs; the hallucinogens LSD, PCP, psilocybin, and ketamine; and diverted pharmaceuticals including opioids (narcotic analgesics) such as codeine, Darvocet, Dilaudid, hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan), and sedative hypnotics (benzodiazepines) such as Valium and Xanax. ODDs are becoming increasingly available in some areas of the state, especially in cities with colleges or universities. ODDs are sold primarily by Caucasian local independent dealers and abused by young adults.
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), also known as Adam, ecstasy, XTC, E, and X, is a stimulant and low-level hallucinogen. MDMA is generally taken orally in tablet or capsule form. MDMA abuse is a concern among law enforcement and public health agencies in the state because the drug can cause psychological problems similar to those associated with methamphetamine and cocaine abuse including confusion, depression, sleeplessness, anxiety, and paranoia. Physical effects can include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, blurred vision, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. MDMA abuse can also cause a marked increase in body temperature leading to muscle breakdown, kidney failure, cardiovascular system failure, stroke, seizure, or heart attack as reported in some fatal cases at raves. Researchers suggest that MDMA abuse may result in long-term and sometimes permanent damage to parts of the brain that are critical to thought and memory.
The availability and abuse of MDMA are increasing in Kansas, particularly among teenagers and young adults. Law enforcement respondents to the NDTS 2002 in Johnson County reported that MDMA availability was high in their jurisdiction. Law enforcement authorities in Abilene and in Dickinson, Finney, and Montgomery Counties indicated that availability and abuse of MDMA in their jurisdictions was moderate.
Most MDMA available in Kansas is produced outside the United States, typically in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is transported by couriers aboard commercial aircraft through distribution centers such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C., and via package delivery services. MDMA generally is transported in private vehicles from distribution centers to the Kansas City area in quantities of 6,000 to 10,000 tablets.
Caucasian local independent dealers are the primary wholesale distributors of MDMA in Kansas. Asian street gangs also distribute wholesale quantities of MDMA but to a lesser extent. In 2001 Dead Everlasting Gangsters and Krazy Boyz in Kansas City obtained wholesale quantities of 100 to 2,000 MDMA tablets via package delivery services from Vietnamese distributors in Irvine, California, and Sioux City, Iowa. The tablets varied in color and had logos printed on them. The MDMA tablets were distributed in Kansas City at Vietnamese nail salons owned by members of these street gangs.
Retail-level MDMA distributors typically are Caucasian local independent dealers, college age students, and street gangs. Asian local independent dealers also distribute MDMA at the retail level. Law enforcement authorities in Emporia, Junction City, and Leavenworth, and in Johnson County reported that Caucasian local independent dealers distribute MDMA at the retail level in their jurisdictions. Asian Boyz, Buc Lao Killers, Krazy Boyz, and Viet Boyz distribute MDMA at the retail level in Wichita. MDMA is distributed at nightclubs, raves, and on university campuses throughout Kansas. According to local law enforcement officials, in 2001 MDMA tablets in the state generally sold for $15 to $30 each. In Kansas City 100 tablets sold for $1,500 to $1,700.
Law enforcement authorities in Kansas sometimes seize substances that are sold as MDMA but contain other substances. In Johnson County law enforcement officials reported that a compound of ketamine and methamphetamine was sold as MDMA. Also in Johnson County dextromethorphan (DXM, a cough suppressant) was identified as the main ingredient in tablets marketed as MDMA. In another incident, tablets sold as MDMA were actually 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine, also known as Nexus or 2C-B.
GHB and Analogs
GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and its analogs pose an emerging threat to Kansas. GHB, also known as liquid ecstasy, grievous bodily harm, and Georgia home boy, is an illicit drug known for its euphoric, sedative, and anabolic effects. GHB is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, and its effects include drowsiness, sedation, loss of consciousness, and anterograde amnesia; it often is administered to intended victims of sexual assault. GHB is difficult to detect in abusers or victims of sexual assault because the drug is quickly metabolized in the body.
GHB analogs, drugs that possess chemical structures similar to GHB, also are abused in Kansas. The most commonly encountered GHB analogs in Kansas are GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and BD (1,4-butanediol). GBL is a solvent commonly used as a paint stripper. BD is a chemical used in the production of plastics and adhesives. GBL and BD convert to GHB upon ingestion. GBL is widely available as a powder and liquid at gyms, fitness centers, and some disreputable health food stores. BD can be produced in clear liquid, white powder, and pill and capsule forms.
The availability and abuse of GHB in Kansas is increasing. According to the NDTS 2002, law enforcement officials in Great Bend, Hays, Topeka, and Wichita and in McPherson County indicated that GHB availability and abuse was moderate. In Barton County and Great Bend, law enforcement officials reported an increase in GHB overdoses and arrests for driving under the influence of the drug. Most of the GHB available in Kansas is produced outside the state; however, some GHB production does occur in Kansas. In June 2000 Coffeyville Police Department authorities seized a GHB laboratory at the residence of a known methamphetamine producer. Law enforcement authorities seized scales, beakers, filters, jars, and nearly 2 pounds of GHB from the laboratory site. GHB and its analogs are available in Kansas primarily at colleges and universities, social venues such as bars, nightclubs, raves, and strip clubs. Young adults, usually Causasian, are the principal producers, distributors, and abusers of the drug. Recipes and do-it-yourself kits for GHB production are available on several Internet sites.
LSD. The distribution and abuse of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) pose a low threat to Kansas. LSD, also known as acid, boomers, and yellow sunshine, is a hallucinogen that induces abnormalities in sensory perceptions. The effects of LSD are unpredictable depending on the amount ingested, the environment in which it is abused, and the abuser's personality, mood, and expectations. Abusers may feel the effects for up to 12 hours. Physical effects include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, nausea, numbness, weakness, insomnia, dry mouth, and tremors. Two long-term disorders associated with LSD are persistent psychosis and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (flashbacks). LSD typically is ingested orally.
Most LSD available in Kansas is produced in California and transported to Kansas primarily via package delivery services; however, the drug has been produced in Kansas. Caucasian local independent dealers are the primary retail distributors of the drug. LSD is distributed primarily at raves, bars, and nightclubs in large cities and college towns in Kansas. It is sold in powder and liquid forms, in tablets or capsules, on pieces of blotter paper that absorb the drug, and on small candies. According to the Lenexa Police Department, distributors in its area reportedly lace candy with LSD, and some dealers use an eyedropper to place LSD on the purchaser's tongue to ensure that the individual is not an undercover law enforcement officer. This method of administration is common in other areas of the country as well. In Kansas in 2001 LSD sold for $5 to $8 per dose, according to DEA.
PCP. PCP (phencyclidine) was developed as an intravenous anesthetic, but use of the drug in humans was discontinued in 1965 because patients who were administered the drug became agitated, delusional, and irrational. PCP, also known as angel dust, ozone, wack, and rocket fuel, is illegally produced in laboratories in the United States. It is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in water and has a bitter taste. The drug can be mixed with dyes and is available as a tablet, capsule, liquid, or colored powder. PCP may be snorted, smoked, injected, or swallowed. For smoking purposes, PCP may be applied to mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana. When combined with marijuana, the mixture is called a killer joint or crystal supergrass.
The threat posed by the distribution and abuse of the hallucinogen PCP in Kansas is limited to the Kansas City area. African American gang members in California produce most of the PCP available in the Kansas City area. The drug is transported to Kansas City typically by package delivery services and in private vehicles. In early 2001 a 2-liter bottle of PCP was seized after being sent via a package delivery service to an individual in Olathe. The bottle was covered with duct tape and peanut butter to mask the odor. The shipment originated in Los Angeles and was concealed inside a microwave oven. African American gang members in Kansas City typically distribute PCP--known on the street as water--to other gang members and their associates. PCP is sold in liquid form for $250 to $300 per fluid ounce and typically is stored in vanilla extract bottles. Dealers also sell individual cigarettes dipped in PCP, known as sticks, for $10 each.
Psilocybin. The hallucinogen psilocybin presents a low threat to Kansas. Psilocybin mushrooms are consumed after being dried and crushed to a powder. Taken in nontoxic doses, psilocybin produces changes in perception, thought, and mood. Effects typically last for about 6 hours. Psilocybin mushrooms are available in Kansas primarily in areas with colleges or universities. Typical abusers are young Caucasian adults. Distribution of psilocybin commonly occurs at music concerts. In 2000 KHP seized more than 20 grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
Ketamine. Also called K, special K, vitamin K, and cat valium, ketamine is an injectable anesthetic that is approved for both human and animal use. Ketamine is sold commercially and is produced in liquid, powder, or pill form. In liquid form, it can be injected either intramuscularly or intravenously. In powder form, it is snorted or is smoked with marijuana or tobacco products.
The availability of ketamine is low in Kansas, although significant seizures of the drug have occurred in the state. According to KHP, nearly 24,000 vials of ketamine hydrochloride were seized near Russell in July 2001. The ketamine, packaged in 10-milliliter bottles, was produced in Mexico and intended for distribution in the eastern United States. According to DEA, this was the largest seizure of ketamine in the United States. In November 2001 law enforcement authorities seized nearly 3 liters of ketamine on a passenger train in Dodge City. The ketamine was concealed in a dietary supplement bottle and was destined for Chicago.
Diverted pharmaceuticals pose a significant and increasing threat to Kansas. The most commonly diverted pharmaceuticals in Kansas are opioids (narcotic analgesics) such as codeine, Darvocet, Dilaudid, hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan), and sedative hypnotics (benzodiazepines) such as Valium and Xanax. Narcotic analgesics are prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. Most sedative hypnotics are prescribed to relieve anxiety; however, some are used as anticonvulsants to treat muscle spasms.
Pharmaceuticals are diverted in a variety of ways in Kansas. The primary sources of diverted pharmaceuticals are pharmacies and medical practitioners. Unscrupulous medical professionals either steal the drugs or sell fraudulent prescriptions. In a process known as doctor shopping, abusers visit several doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions. Individuals also call pharmacies with fraudulent prescription refills or alter prescriptions. Another common method is to place an after-hours call to a clinic that has numerous physicians on staff. The caller will speak to the on-call physician and claim to have a prescription from another staff doctor. The on-call physician may fail to confirm the information and will unknowingly prescribe the drug to an abuser. Pharmaceuticals also occasionally are stolen from pharmacies. In January 2002 two robberies occurred at Wichita pharmacies. On each occasion an armed Caucasian male robbed the pharmacy. In the first case 3 bottles of Dilaudid, 12 bottles of Lortab, and 5 bottles of OxyContin were stolen. In the other incident, two bottles of Diazepam, three bottles of Lorazepam, and two bottles of Tylenol with codeine were stolen.
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