We continue the conversation about bath salts; this article will focus on alpha-PVP.
Bath salts are the general name for a big group of designer drugs. Alpha-PVP is one of them.
Alpha-PVP (α-PVP, A-PVP, flakka) is a synthetic psychostimulant. The full chemical name is Alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone. The substance is very potent and its effects are short-run. The effects may not be immediate, often leading to a compulsive overdose.
Like other psychostimulants, alpha-PVP can cause hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations.
Synthetic cathinones, which are A-PVP, are powerful central nervous system stimulants. They inhibit the dopamine and noradrenaline (neurotransmitters) reuptake systems, and strongly affect brain activity.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Alpha-PVP was synthesized in the 1960s. It was meant to be used in medicine as a CNS stimulant in the treatment of classic depression and similar severe disorders. However, it turned out that the medication has many side effects, including dependence. As a result, its official production was ceased.
Modern alpha, like other bath salts, is made by mixing a variety of chemicals and compounds. Therefore, the composition of different batches of the same substance by name can vary significantly. A-PVP is a substance associated with increased risks! Fatalities and numerous overdoses related to A-PVP are common.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AND DOSAGE
The risk of overdose is very high when using bath salts, and this is especially true for A-PVP, due to the specificities of this drug.
A-PVP has the form of a crystalline, granular powder, often white or pinkish in colour. It is consumed in different ways: intranasally, smoking, swallowing, injecting.
Injecting is the most dangerous way of consuming the substance! This makes it easier to get an overdose; there are additional risks associated with the use of non-sterile needles (transmission of dangerous diseases, blood infections, etc.).
Toxic doses for synthetic cathinones are difficult to determine because their compositions are variable. It is almost impossible to determine the composition of a substance by name or label, because the same name can be used for bath salts with completely different components.
Such factors as individual perception, body weight, metabolism and psychological state are always important to consider when using psychoactive substances!
The effects last the longest when the substance is taken orally. Post-effects with this method last up to 12 hours. When taken intranasally, the effects occur in 10-15 minutes, the main effects last up to 2 hours, and post-effects last up to 5 hours. In the case of smoking, the effects end quickly, within an hour and a half, and the post-effects last a little more than two hours.
Alpha-PVP has a bright psychostimulant effect. In particular, this is expressed in the following symptoms:
The popular name flakka comes from the Spanish flaco – skinny, because the use of this substance leads to rapid weight loss.
Negative side effects can occur both psychologically and physically. Psychologically, the following may occur:
Physically, there may be the following effects:
Side effects can be life threatening! You can die from an overdose.
MIXING WITH OTHER PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES
Mixing psychoactive substances is always more dangerous than using only one substance!
You will find a calculator via this link where you can put in the names of substances and see the outcomes of combining them.
As alpha-PVP is a very dangerous substance, mixing it with other psychoactive substances (not only drugs but also some medicines) is not recommended.
In particular, the combination of alpha-PVP with antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors) and 5-HTP is dangerous because it can cause serotonin syndrome.
The severity of serotonin syndrome symptoms varies from light to severe, including potential death. In light cases, the symptoms of serotonin syndrome are: high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat; in moderate: high body temperature, overexcitement, tremor, sweating, dilated pupils, diarrhea. In severe cases, body temperature can rise to 41 °C and above, complications can include convulsions and significant muscle damage. Serotonin syndrome is quite rare, but it happens.
Alpha-PVP + methoxetamine (MXE), dextromethorphan (DXM): This mix can lead to heart rate and blood pressure increase.
Alpha-PVP + tramadol: Increased risk of seizures.
Alpha-PVP + MDMA, cocaine, amphetamine: Dangerous combinations because all of these substances are stimulants and may cause stimulant overdose.
1. Usually the dose and purity of the substance remains unknown, which means that USE OF ALPHA-PVP CAN POTENTIALLY LEAD TO OVERDOSE!
2. Never mix alpha-PVP with any other psychoactive substances, including alcohol! Synthetic cathinones are strong stimulants, so using them with other stimulants can be very dangerous.
3. Determine in advance how much substance you will take in one evening/party. Take exactly as much and no more. This is the way to avoid overdose.
4. Be very careful with dosage! With bath salts, this rule is especially important because of their variable compositions. Take the minimum dose of the substance.
5. Always dose the substance YOURSELF, control what you are taking and how much. Do not allow others to do it for you.
6. If you consume the substance intranasally, use your own special tube (sniffer). This will help prevent the transmission of many infectious diseases. An ordinary trimmed cocktail tube can be used as a sniffer. Do not sniff through banknotes, this is the dirtiest way to use substances intranasally (worse is only through the nose directly from a dirty surface).
7. Make sure that the substance you are inhaling does not include crystals. Carefully grind the powder, because the prickly crystals can injure the nasal mucosa.
8. Take care of your nose. If you can, rinse your nose with a solution of 1 teaspoon of sea salt per 1/4 liter of warm water. You can use a nasal spray with sea salt.
9. Research information about the effects of the substance and possible unpleasant consequences. Remember about all the factors that may affect the experience: dose, exposure to other substances, general health state (both physical and psychological).
10. Avoid injecting psychoactive substances!
HELP IN CASE OF AN OVERDOSE
If you have questions about what an overdose of various psychoactive substances looks like and how to provide first aid to a person with an overdose, you can contact the Telegram bot @OverdoseHelpBot. There you will find a lot of useful information.
Externally, an overdose of alpha-PVP may be similar to an overdose of stimulants.
The symptoms of bath salts overdose:
Don’t be afraid to call an ambulance – somebody’s life may depend on it. If, for some reason, you are very afraid to call an ambulance, call the parents or relatives of the overdosed person.
You can call a free ambulance via the phone numbers 103 or 112.
There is no criminal liability for calling an ambulance in case of an overdose. Contrary to popular belief, ambulance doctors are not required to report to the police about the cases of drug use. Police is called only if the ambulance crew has witnessed a criminal offense involving drug use.
Before the ambulance arrives:
If the body temperature is high, use physical methods of cooling:
In the case of seizures:
In case of breathing stop and/or pulse stop, start artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
How to do artificial respiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHK93xcDrHk
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wrdcnuBTBw
When the ambulance arrives, tell the doctors what the person consumed or could have consumed. This will help to more accurately provide special medical care.
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