By Sheena Forde-Craigg
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (GIS) – The Forensic Sciences Centre (FSC) has confirmed the presence of two New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in Barbados that are of great public health concern and have warranted the issuance of an Early Warning System (EWS) Alert.
Director of the FSC, Cheryl Corbin, has identified the two NPSs as Synthetic Cannabinoids (SCs) MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4F-MDMB-BUTICA.
While addressing a press briefing today at the Eastern Caribbean Camp, Ruby, St Philip, Corbin reported that on August 3, the FSC received an unknown substance in the form of “plant material that was cut up” from the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) for testing and analysis.
The matter was tested three different times via “GCMs (gas chromatograph) microscopy and using international controlled databases” and tested positive for MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4-Fluoro-MDMB-BUTICA, two synthetic Cannabinoids (two chemicals listed as new psychotropic substances (NPS) detected by GC-MS using SWGDRUG library.
“The information was relayed to NCSA, and our recommendation was that the FSC remains on high alert for any further submissions or queries of these NPSs and also that we share the information with the members of the EWS, which was done. It prompted this situation that we’re in now for the issuance of the alert,” the director reported.
She went on to explain that SCs are substances synthesised in laboratories that mimic the biological effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana or cannabis.
“The problem with this new psychoactive substance is that it is excessively potent. You have no idea of knowing how much you’re using…and one use of it can kill you. Seriously, it can kill you. We know how adventurous some people are, but I reiterate, it can kill you,” the director emphasised.
Corbin noted that odourless MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4F-MDMB-BUTICA substances are synthetic cannabinoids that have been encountered on the designer drug market and have been found laced on plant material and marketed under the guise of herbal incense products including oils used for Electronic Smoking Devices (vaping).
She continued: “The SCs have no accepted medicinal use at all…. They are purely only smoked for their psychoactive effects…. Emergency departments have been presented with symptoms from persons, which include seizures, sudden collapse, involuntary muscle spasms, catatonia and increased violence. Multiple deaths have been reported in various places.”
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