Monkey Dust: A New Danger for Australians

Monkey Dust: A New Danger for Australians

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

What is Monkey Dust?

While monkey dust may sound like a children’s cereal, it is actually a powerful, new, and dangerous drug that has recently been found in Australia. Specifically, monkey dust is MDPV or 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone. This falls into the same chemical category as bath salts or synthetic cathinones. MDPV has effects much like cocaine or even ecstasy, but the potency and outside effects are troublesome. Some party goers may think they are taking ecstasy or pure MDMA when they are actually using monkey dust and this is problematic.

MDPV was developed by a pharmaceutical company in the 60s originally, but the testing never reached humans. It was designed to be a central nervous system stimulant, but was obviously unsafe. In 2005 the term began circulating online and the DEA started reporting finding it in synthetic cathinones seizures. Made illegal in 2010, the amount seized by 2015 had started to drop significantly. However, a large seizure in Australia of four kilograms, means the market is still alive and thriving.

Monkey Dust, What to Look For

MDPV is a white, crystal like powder when it is pure, but when manufactured it turns off white or even pale brown. It is then sold as a powder or made into capsules or tablets that can be taken or snorted. Most often, MDPV is mixed with other street drugs, making it more dangerous. Though the main effects of monkey dust only last a couple hours, side effects can last for several additional hours and create problems. If you suspect someone is using MDPV, look for the following reactions:

  • Euphoria
  • Empathy (often for strangers)
  • Stimulation (social and mental)
  • Sexual arousal
  • Increased sociability

For those who have consumed large amounts of monkey dust, there may also be signs of:

  • Muscles spasms
  • Paranoia and delusions
  • Racing heart rate (or at least elevated)
  • Rapid muscle breakdown (in extreme cases)

In extreme situations, the person may also suffer brain injury and death from use of monkey dust. An extreme case typically means excessive use, but can also occur with minimal use and a reaction to impurities in the drug itself.

Is Monkey Dust Addictive?

Monkey dust is primarily made from the khat plant and in many ways mimics that better known bath salts or ecstasy drugs. Monkey dust is highly addictive and can easily lead to long term health issues and death. When monkey dust is used with regularity, it can create a destructive pattern of drug abuse in the user’s life. This is likely to cause withdrawal from family, friends, and other responsibilities. This can lead to job loss and alienation from loved ones. Over time, a tolerance to the drug can develop and create a need for more and more each time.

Withdrawal from Monkey Dust

Since monkey dust is made from synthetic cathinones which are powerful stimulants, medical help is necessary to deal with withdrawal. Withdrawal from such a substance can range from uncomfortable to life threatening depending on how much was taken, how often, and the individual’s reaction to the drug itself. Specific withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Unpredictable, possibly violent, behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting (gastric distress)
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Amnesia
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble concentrating

Withdrawal symptoms typically only last for two days to a week with a decrease in severity over time. However, some people do experience psychological symptoms for weeks after stopping the drug completely.

What to Expect at DARA Rehab

Monkey Dust: A New Danger for Australians

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction or just general use of monkey dust then seek treatment immediately. Since the drug can have long term effects starting with the first use, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. DARA rehab offers many locations in Australia that include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland, among others in different countries. DARA is an inpatient rehab facility with programs of different lengths to suit your personalized needs.

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation, at least at DARA, works because it removes you from the environmental triggers in your normal environment. This takes you away from what caused you to start using in the first place. Once you are in a safe environment that is totally drug free, you can concentrate on beginning the process of living substance use free. This is not always an easy process, but it is one that DARA can help you attain and provide the tools to maintain after being discharged from the facility.

DARA does this through an intense, yet effective program. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan that will include physical wellness aspects, counseling, and even education, along with time to relax, unwind, and build their spiritual side. There is a concentration focused on dealing with the underlying issues behind your personal drug use with a commitment to teaching each patient better and appropriate coping skills.

The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Each week will be filled with activities that include both individual and group sessions with relapse prevention sessions. This is predominantly focused on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that will help you change the way you think about yourself, other people, and the world as a whole. CBT is created to help each person understand how your actions affect thoughts and feelings and thus affect your actions. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, you will learn to change how you think to change what you do, thus cognitive and behavioral aspects respectively.

In addition to CBT, physical therapy is offered weekly with two one-hour fitness sessions each week, daily water workouts and two group exercise sessions. The pool and gym can also be used during your free time. Three weekly massage sessions are also included. This allows each person to heal their physical body while also working on bettering the mental state. This is important as physical well being is often ignored while using drugs. Furthermore, meditation, recreation, and meals are included to improve overall well-being.

It is possible to live a happy, fulfilled life without drugs and alcohol, and you are worth the effort necessary. DARA can help, but you have to make the call. Someone will be available to answer seven days a week, 24 hours a day to help direct you into the next steps.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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