Gravel. It follows a long line of synthetic drugs that have popped up in recent years such as spice and bath salts. It isn’t any less dangerous either. Gravel is a synthetic drug that was first seen about six months ago. It looks a lot like crack and can be smoked, snorted or even shot up. The effects of this new gravel drug are paranoia, euphoria, hallucinations, oh and kidney failure. It is said to be a mixture of bath salts, methamphetamine, and/or Klonopin. Early lab results reveal the rock-like substance, hence the name gravel, contains alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, a synthetic stimulant acting on the cardiovascular and central nervous system.
Synthetic drugs such as Gravel are consistently changing. The feds have trouble keeping up and so do the hospitals. Doctors are scared about the repercussions of a drug such as gravel not only because of its effects which can also include suicide, but also because they know nothing about it as of right now.
One Gravel user explained the high from it as an “inability to even think.” According to some of the YouTube comments on videos about it, shooting up this drug will eat your skin from the inside out. The validity of this, is of course, unknown but there are many pictures of gravel users needing to get their veins removed. (See picture to the right.)
Often times gravel users have no idea what they are taking when they first try it. And it can be deadly. A city in Tennessee has seen one visit to the hospital every day due to gravel and it takes a heavy dose of sedatives to finally calm the person down. And Tennessee seems to be where all the “gravel” action is happening
Over the past two months, Kingsport Police Department and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office have had approximately 20 incidents each related to “gravel.” We’re not seeing the crazy rages (like with bath salts), but the paranoia is the worst we’ve seen from any drugs,” said KPD Vice Detective Nathan Elliott. “And the effects on the body, (the user’s) appearance, those are the worst. We don’t know if they’ll have cancer in five years, or fall over dead.”
“Gravel can potentially be even more dangerous than the synthetic drugs we were dealing with last year, mainly because you do not know for sure what other drugs have been mixed with the PVP,” said Earhart. “There have been reports of dealers trying to pass straight ammonia nitrate off as gravel.”
Gravel runs between $80 and $200 a gram, according to police, with Earhart attributing the fluctuation to a batch’s purity; i.e., has it been cut with other drugs, or is it straight alpha-PVP. Kingsport police say the variation in price is a classic example of drug peddlers’ power over their victims.“They’re getting people hooked on it, then raise their price,” said Elliott. “They get them addicted in just a few months rather than years.” “We arrested an attractive girl a while back (with gravel), then saw her a couple months later on a driving violation. She looked like she’d been smoking meth for five years.” Though in the infancy of their dealings with the drug, law enforcement officials say extreme paranoia is a trademark tendency: pointing to multiple cases as illustration.
Whatever the case may be with this new gravel drug, it is definitely making an impact on the state of Tennessee. We will keep up with this to see where it goes. Chances are we will be hearing more about it soon enough and it probably won’t be good.