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10 February 2012

Illicit online drugs turn men blue

A case study of two men who were poisoned and turned blue after ingesting what they thought was a recreational drug that they had bought on the internet highlights the dangers of such purchases.

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A case study of two men who were poisoned and turned blue after ingesting what they thought was a recreational drug that they had bought on the internet highlights the dangers of such purchases, a new report claims.

The case study appears in an issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which is published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The term "research chemicals" is a phrase used to illegally sell stimulants on the internet, to avoid regulations that ban their use, the report authors said.

The authors described the case of two Oregon men who believed they had bought the designer amphetamine derivative 2C-E online. But the product they actually received was aniline, a highly toxic industrial chemical.

Even though these research chemicals all carry a warning label that they are "not for human consumption," the two men ingested the chemical. They quickly suffered a severe reaction as their haemoglobin was converted to methemoglobin, a molecule that prevents red blood cells from carrying oxygen.

The men's skin turned blue due to the lack of oxygen in their blood and one of them lost consciousness, said report author Dr Shana Kusin and colleagues from the Oregon Poison Centre.

The men were saved after poison centre and health department officials rapidly identified the chemical and the proper treatment.

The incident illustrates the potentially life-threatening risks of buying so-called "research chemicals" over the internet, the report authors concluded.

(HealthDay News, February 2012)


(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
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