Novel Psychedelic Substances: A Grave Threat To The Psychedelic Renaissance
While cocaine & heroin have always been targets for adulteration, recently published research details how novel psychoactive substances and surgical anesthetics have been found in drug related overdoses and deaths across the world. In the last five years, more than 250 new psychoactive research chemicals have been documented, With research chemicals such as NBOMe & Alpha-PVP & painkillers like Fentantyl filtering into the drug supply, recreational use becomes much more dangerous. Although illegal under the Scheduling/Analogue Act laws, governing bodies remain steps behind, scheduling a substance years after peak usage as seen with MDPV, one of the first bath salts.
Tarik Najeddine is an independent researcher, specializing in the intersection between psychedelics, dance music & substance use. He received his BA in Psychology and began his research career at the Johns Hopkins Center for Mind-Body Research after being awarded an NIH grant to study various mind-body modalities. After he returned to academia, enrolling in Columbia University’s Clinical Psychology program at Teacher’s College. After doing his master’s thesis on Ibogaine, he spent time evaluating Assertive Community Treatment implementation in a state-by-state review for the New York State Department of Health. This led Tarik to working at the only homeless shelter for Veterans in New York City. After that, frustrated with the slow pace of the research and clinical world, He began volunteering for various event production companies and non-profits, coordinating & performing harm reduction services. This could include anything from providing educational materials for a party of 10 to testing drugs or coordinating various intervention teams for 1000+ person events. In the course of doing this, he became deeply concerned with the breadth & depth of adulterants in the drug supply that was being consumed at various events spread across the country. As the research slowly began to confirm what his peers only knew through anecdote, in addition to volunteering, Tarik began working with various individuals and groups within the US harm reduction community to get information out about these drugs. Because information dissemination is seen as potentially enabling substance usage, UK/EU levels of testing & harm reduction measures are all but impossible in many venues stateside. In addition to presenting at discussion salons & anthropology conferences in the USA & Canada, he also produces a weekly harm reduction column for various media outlets.