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Krokodil: The drug that (literally) eats junkies
11:31 am



There’s a super bleak story in The Independent about a home-made heroin substitute that’s becoming popular in Russia. The problem is that “Krokodil” is so detrimental to the human body that it practically eats right through it. There are up to two million junkies in Russia, the most in the world and around 100,000 of them are addicted to Krokodil which can be easily produced for a fraction of the price of smack. 

Even hardcore methfreaks are better off than Krokodil addicts. Withdrawal from the drug can take an agonizing MONTH (Heroin detox lasts a week to ten days, a relative walk in the park).

The home-made drug that Oleg and Sasha inject is known as krokodil, or “crocodile”. It is desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs from £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be “cooked” from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.

It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.

“If you miss the vein, that’s an abscess straight away,” says Sasha. Essentially, they are injecting poison directly into their flesh. One of their friends, in a neighbouring apartment block, is further down the line.

“She won’t go to hospital, she just keeps injecting. Her flesh is falling off and she can hardly move anymore,” says Sasha. Photographs of late-stage krokodil addicts are disturbing in the extreme. Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.

This is like something straight out of Burroughs or Cronenberg, but as I was reading the article, I was thinking more about what a modern day Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky would make of a plague like this.

Read the entire horrific story: Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies (The Independent)

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Scarface: Attack of the Flesh-Eating Cocaine

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Timothy Leary’s papers acquired by New York Public Library
07:37 am


Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary with Boing Boing founders Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair at Golden Apple Comics. Photo: Richard Metzger
At some point in 1995, I was visiting Dr. Timothy Leary in his home in Benedict Canyon. I showed up at the appointed time and waited outside on the patio.

And I waited. And waited. And waited and waited and waited. After about an hour and 45 minutes—the guy was one of my greatest heroes, how long are you supposed to wait in a situation like that?—I made to leave when Tim finally arrived. It had been some time, maybe five years, since I had seen him last and he looked terrible. Until recently Leary could have passed for a man 20 years younger, but now he looked just awful. It was the week before he told the media that he had terminal cancer.

That day, a delivery of several boxes of items which had been confiscated during one of his many drug busts of the sixties, had arrived at the house. There were several people in the housre cataloging the contents (one of them was Bill Daily, the antiquarian book dealer here in Los Angeles and I think former SNL comedy writer Tom Davis might have been there, too).

One item had the group on stitches when it was discovered: A tin flour container (my grandmother owned the exact same one) full of flour. It was surmised by the group that whoever grabbed it must have suspected the flour jar was where the cocaine was hidden. I recall Leary quipping “I wonder where they thought we kept our flour?”

It’s taken over a decade since Leary’s death, but yesterday an article in the New York Times reports that Leary’s personal papers have been acquired by the New York Public Library:

When the Harvard psychologist and psychedelic explorer Timothy Leary first met the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1960, he welcomed Ginsberg’s participation in the drug experiments he was conducting at the university.

“The first time I took psilocybin — 10 pills — was in the fireside social setting in Cambridge,” Ginsberg wrote in a blow-by-blow description of his experience taking synthesized hallucinogenic mushrooms at Leary’s stately home. At one point Ginsberg, naked and nauseated, began to feel scared, but then “Professor Leary came into my room, looked in my eyes and said I was a great man.”

Ginsberg’s “session record,” composed for Leary’s research, was in one of the 335 boxes of papers, videotapes, photographs and more that the New York Public Library is planning to announce that it has purchased from the Leary estate. The material documents the evolution of the tweedy middle-aged academic into a drug guru, international outlaw, gubernatorial candidate, computer software designer and progenitor of the Me Decade’s self-absorbed interest in self-help.

The archive will not be available to the public or scholars for 18 to 24 months, as the library organizes the papers. A preview of the collection, however, reveals a rich record not only of Leary’s tumultuous life but also of the lives of many significant cultural figures in the ’60, ’70s and ’80s.

Robert Greenfield, who combed through the archive when it was kept in California, for his 2007 biography of Leary, said: “It is a unique firsthand archive of the 1960s. Leary was at the epicenter of what was going on back then, and some of the stuff in there is extraordinary.”

Leary, who died in 1996, coined the phrase “Turn on, tune in, drop out” and was labeled by Richard M. Nixon as “the most dangerous man in America.” He was present in Zelig-like fashion at some of the era’s epochal events. Thousands of letters and papers from Ginsberg, Aldous Huxley, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Charles Mingus, Maynard Ferguson, Arthur Koestler, G. Gordon Liddy and even Cary Grant — an enthusiastic LSD user — are in the boxes.


Thank you Douglas Rushkoff!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Jewelry for pill poppers and other addictions
09:45 am


Cast of Vices
.925 Sterling Silver, 26” Silver Figaro Chain, $250.00

Los Angeles-based designers Cast of Vices create whimsical pieces of jewelry based on “pop culture and our obsession with self-medication and addiction.” There’s also a pricey ($1,350) 14k Vicodin necklace you can view here.

.925 Sterling Silver, 26” Silver Figaro Chain, $180.00

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Prisontown: The Malefactors of Great Wealth

Unique music video for “Prisontown” by a group with such a cool name, The Malefactors of Great Wealth.

The video uses seldom-seen archival footage from the infamous “Narcotic Farm” in Lexington, KY, a prison for drug addicts which once housed writer William S. Burroughs, musician Sonny Rollins, and actor Peter Lorre, among thousands of others. From the 1930s until 1975, if you were convicted of a drug-related crime, this was where they would send you. (As you might also suspect, human drug testing went on there and the CIA did clandestine research on LSD at the Narcotic Farm, too).

No surprise there were a lot of musicians about. Find out more about the Narcotic Farm here.

Thank you J.P. Olsen!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Your weekend dose of Orange Sunshine

Here’s your weekend dose of psychedelia.

Visuals: loops from the Joshua Light Show, Mark Boyle and Joan Hills’ liquid lights for London’s UFO club, Jerry Abrams, Robert Breer and Derek Jarman.

Music: Country Joe and The Fish, Nico, Soft Machine, Docdail and Exitmusic. The Abrams clip says Blue Cheer, but it’s Country Joe in this mix.

Thanks to Gary for the UFO loop. Animated gif from Lysergioacid

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Headshop Hobbit: Odd 1960s ‘Lord of the Rings’ stickers

The intersection of Tolkien and “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”???

Over on BB Submitterator Ethan Freak writes: “Legolas looks more like a crime-fighting Robin than elf, Aragorn wields an ax, Tom Bombadil is sporting some groovy bellbottoms, & Frodo resembles a pig on crack. The best might be Gandalf “Keep on Truckin’” the Gray. These groovy Lord of the Rings stickers were recently spotted at a Tolkien convention. As you’ll see, the anonymous artist has taken liberties with Tolkien’s vision. Where they originally came from, no one seems to know. Shall the stickers be destroyed in the fiery chasm whence they came?”

See more Tolkien hippie stickers over at Ethan Gilsdorf’s website. He has a fun back-story to go along with these unearthed stickers. 


Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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NSFW Caribbean sleaze: Jamaican director takes on The Weeknd’s ‘Wicked Games’

The elusive The Weeknd…
This spring has seen 20-year-old Toronto-based R&B singer Abel Tesfaye—who does business as The Weeknd—zoom suddenly across the radar screen of the alt-music blogosphere and into the starry-eyed attention of pop star Drake and still-boring institution Rolling Stone.

And as if you need further proof of the irrelevance of the music industry, he’s done it as an unsigned artist on the strength of House of Balloons, a free downloadable mixtape of his tunes.

The hype surrounding Tesfaye springs from a couple of factors. One is the anxiously defiant swagitude in his smooth, loping, MDMA-tinged electro-soul sound. The other is the guy’s tantalizingly un-R&B low visual profile, which has resulted in the dissemination of a handful of mostly black-and-white photos of the handsome cat.

Tesfaye’s relative anonymity has also resulted in his fans producing some video interpretations of his tunes. Most of these have gone for a pretty literal black-&-white noir-city-apartment setting & narrative.

But Jamaican indie filmmaker Storm Saulter—director of the feature Better Mus’ Come and curator of the New Caribbean Cinema series—sets his disturbingly sunshine-soaked take on The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games” off the waters of his home island’s coastal parish of Portland.

After the jump: a more typical, though well-crafted, take on “What You Need”…

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Mexican police seize diamond-encrusted and gold-plated automatic weapons from drug cartel
12:31 pm

Current Events

drug dealers
drug cartels

The feared Mexican drug cartel La Familia was behind the shooting down of a police helicopter, authorities say and they were given a tip-off about a big meeting that was to take place in the group’s stonghold area of Michoacan. That information led to a police shoot-out that the killed eleven suspected members of the cartel, and 36 others, including three known top leaders were captured.

The Mexican police also confiscated several jewel-encrusted or gold-plated automatic weapons. From the BBC:

“They were hiding in Jalisco, waiting for instructions from their boss and planning an attack on a group which calls itself the Knights Templar, with which they’re at war,” Mr Rosas told reporters at a news conference.

The police commissioner described the Knights Templar as an offshoot of La Familia, which had split from the cartel after the killing by security forces of La Familia leader Nazario Moreno in December 2010.

Police said they seized 70 long-range weapons and 14 pistols, many of them encrusted with gold, silver and precious stones.

They also secured more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition and 40 bullet-proof vests.

Fighting between rival factions of the La Familia cartel displaced at least 2,000 people from their homes in Michoacan state this week.

Imagine having so much money that you could have a gold-plated automatic weapon! That’s some real James Bond shit. Perhaps Harry Winston and Tiffany’s need to get in on the “luxury” arms trade? They’re leaving BIG money on the table if they don’t!


Previously on DM: Logo narco: The branding of Mexican drug cartels.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘Withnail and I’
12:47 pm


Star Wars
Withnail and I

“The joint I am about to roll requires a craftsman and can utilise up to twelve skins. It is called a Camberwell Carrot.”

Yoda gets Danny the drug dealer’s lines from Withnail and I.

“This will tend to make you very high.”

Via Popbitch

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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DIY Homemade Absinthe
09:47 am



English Russia has a DIY recipe for the “Green Goddess.” Apparently it’s the real deal—not the absinthe-in-name-only stuff you can buy at a liquor store. I remember drinking some absinthe once, but to be honest I didn’t experience the decadent Baudelaire-style head trip I was promised. Maybe it was because I wasn’t drinking this hooch?

Stage One. Infusion.
Ingredients: Alcohol 80% and herbs (the most common bought in the chemist’s, in grams per 1 liter of alcohol):

Wormwood: 100 g
Fennel (fruit): 50 g
Anise: 50 g
Mint: 15 g
Melissa: 8 g
Chamomile: 3 g
Cumin: 10 g
Angelica: 10 g

It would be nice to add 5-10 g of hyssop, but it is difficult to find. The substance should be kept in a dark place at room temperature for 7-15 days. You can certainly speed up the process, infusing the substance for 24 hours at a temperature of 40 C, but this will worsen the result.

The craft of making absinthe ain’t easy, there are a few more steps and ingredients involved—you can follow all of ‘em here.

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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