Designer drugs showing up in county<BR>

Known as E, Adam or Lovers Speed, Ecstasy, a drug similar to amphetamine or speed, along with other date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, are beginning to show up in Mohave County drawing concerns from law enforcement.

³Up to a year ago we haven¹t heard of it around here,² said Lt.

Dan Rodriquez of the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team (MAGNET).

³But now we¹re seeing it more here.²

Rodriquez said no arrests have been made yet in the county for selling or using the designer drugs but law enforcement is beginning to investigate the growing influx of the drugs into the county.

He said the drugs, relatively unheard of in the county until recently, is becoming the choice of drugs for teenagers and young adults at parties.

Warning signs for parents who suspected their children are using these drugs are a loss of short term memory, lack of focusing or a decline in grades, Rodriquez said.

Rodriquez also said an agent from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency will meet with the staff from Kingman area schools before classes begins in the fall to discuss danger signs of drug use.

Lt.

Dean Brice of the Kingman Police Department said it has been parents who have noticed the growing problem and brought it to his department¹s attention.

Students, some even as young as middle school age, are shying away from alcohol or marijuana since it is harder to hide the odor, Brice said.

Designer drugs like Ecstasy, usually a small blue or white pill, is virtually undetectable once in the blood system.

The drug is sold for about $20 to $30 a pill, Brice said.

The drug in powder form can also be snorted, smoked, or injected.

Ecstasy usually takes effect about 45 minutes after it is taken and can last up to eight hours.

Some of the side effects from the drug are sweating, chills, increased heart rate, nausea, shaking, dizziness, insomnia and incessant talking.

Continued use of the drug can result in kidney and heart failure.

Ecstasy, known as X, XTC or MDMA, is believed to be coming to the county from the Phoenix area and California, Rodriquez said.

Former Mafia underboss Salvatore ³Sammy the Bull² Gravano, currently being held in a Phoenix jail, has recently been accused of being behind the state¹s largest Ecstasy syndicate.

The largest Ecstasy lab in the state was recently discovered in Flagstaff leading to four arrests there.

Ecstasy, once developed as an appetite suppressant, became popular in early 1980s and has found a comeback especially at raves, a type of dance clubs.

The drug was declared illegal by the DEA in the mid 1980s.

The designer drug, which can be used as a substitute for speed, is commonly found at rave clubs where people are known to dance for long periods of time under the influence of the drug.

Dancers have been reported to be hospitalized for heat exhaustion or severe dehydration after all night rave parties.

Other drugs are also showing up in the county.

Thieves broke into several local veterinarians offices earlier this year and stole Ketamine, a clear liquid used by veterinarians to sedate cats.

The drug, called K or Special K is used as an hallucinate causing the user to experience unreal visions.

The effects can also result in impaired attention and memory.

Rohypnol, also known as Roofies or Roche, is a powerful tranquilizer similar to valium, first used by high school and college students in the 1990s.

The tasteless and odorless drug, easily mixed with alcohol or other drinks, produces an intoxicated effect and has been used as a date rape drug especially at college frat parties.

An unsuspecting victim could be raped and have no memory of the assault making investigation of the crime difficult.

The drug can be bought for as little as $2 a tablet.

A dose as small as 1 milligram can affect a victim for up to 12 hours.

GHB, (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) also known as Liquid Ecstasy or G, is another of the date rape drugs that can be used for its relaxing or sedative effect.

That drug can be found in health food stores and is used by body builders to build up muscles or to induce sleep.

GHBŒs effect can begin in 10 minutes and last up to four hours.

Increased use can cause sleepiness, coma and even death.

Rohypnol, GHB and Ecstasy are known to cause short term memory loss and loss of inhibitions by the victim leading to a potential rape.

Though not listed as a hallucinogen, Ecstasy can cause visual distortion.

Brice warns that these and other designer drugs can be dangerous especially in high doses, causing severe damage to the brain, liver, heart and other organs leading to coma and even death.