CLEAN ENVIRONS, CLEAR MIND.
Members of security services generally operate in unknown and potentially hazardous environment with high occurrence of psychoactive substances („drugs“) and chemicals. It is not only active use of drugs that poses a health risk, as subcutaneous doses too may cause chronic intoxication, as described for stimulants and hallucinogens. The objective of the DETOXIKON Project is to minimise effects of hazardous psychoactive substances contaminating workplaces with presence of security service employees using labour safety and health protection good practices concerning handling of evidence, suitable care for service vehicles and clothing, suitable tactical procedures prior to, during, and after service actions. In case an employee sis exposed to micro-contamination and shows undesired health symptoms, the employee undergoes an experimental holistic detoxification programme composed of physiotherapeutic, psychosocial, neurocognitive and nutritional support, combined with education activities with the objective of acquiring the ability of differentiating risks and awareness of the risk of one’s own potential intoxication. The DETOXIKON Project was originated on the basis of long-term co-operation between VAKOS XT a.s., CBRN Dicision, and the Department of Specialised Methods, Service Facility, Ministry of the Interior, with the objective of implementing individual and collective protective measures against hazardous substances for all security services not only in the Czech Republic but worldwide.
The nature of contamination, as well as the exposure routes, is most often multiplex, and upon usually accidental medical detection it is limited to symptomatic treatment. There is interesting statistical data in the research by the researcher duo of Van Dyke-Martyny, focused on scope of contamination among security personnel members actively participating in interventions in illegal laboratories within the USA. The data acquired shows that 52 % of policemen questioned stated undesired health symptoms after an intervention in labs, 17 % forensic chemists sometimes reported sick after lab search. Symptoms are manifested most often at the stage of collecting evidence in persons not using personal protective equipment. The most frequent symptoms include skin and respiratory organs irritation. Statistically similar data was found in a retrospective cohort study on chronic health impact performed on 46 forensic chemists and 13 policemen searching illegal methamphetamine laboratories with in excess of 2.800 individual searches. Results show reduced vital lung capacity in policemen operating in environment with occurrence of chemicals who do not use respiratory protective equipment, or use it only to the extent of direct access to hazardous substances. The main symptoms represent headache, respiratory problems, mucous membrane and skin irritation.
These appear namely in the environment of laboratories with running vessels, open advance growth of salts, in fires /explosions and upon occurrence of uncontrolled reactions. The conclusions state a 7-15-time increase in the probability of detriment to health upon searching an active laboratory compared to an inactive laboratory.
Similar results in the Czech Republic provide an overview of the scope of the problem in hand. The risk involved is namely the archaic or completely missing standard operating procedures, solid ability and skill in identifying the threatening risks and hazards involved in a wider context of the activities pursued, use of suitable protective equipment and insufficient realisation of the threats and their potential underestimation, as the risk of micro-contamination is currently recorded, according to our research, as far as 130 metres from the place of psychoactive substance preparation (cooking laboratory, hemp growing location).
SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED / ACTION / MEASURES / PRECAUTIONS TAKEN AND THEIR METHODS
Department of Specialised Methods, Service Facility, Ministry of the Interior within the frame of professional education of the Czech Republic security corps members and Ministry of the Interior employees (Consular Incident Response Team) follows with the DETOXIKON Project the successful OPTIMA Project (acquired national and European awards in the last year of the Good Practice contest) through system support of risk identification and elimination in everyday service, when in co-operation with the CBRNe Collection Laboratory – VAKOS XT a.s. it works on acquiring scientific knowledge and its implementation in practice. The DETOXIKON Project takes place by means of a hands-on training programme connected to differentiation and elimination of risks involved within the frame of professional preparation of individual subdivisions of the Czech Republic Police, Fire Rescue Service, Customs Administration, Intelligence services, Municipal Police and Ambulance. An integral part is also methodical guidance upon improving on the level of equipment and use of personal protective means through practical examples utilising simulated contaminants, hands-on training with various kinds of personal protective equipment, creating training laboratories and professional consulting upon operative activities. Large-scale education exceeding the resort of the Ministry of the Interior takes place not only in the Bulleting of the Service Facility, Ministry of the Interior, but also in the Drugs & Forensics Bulletin of the National Drug Enforcement Centre (see photographs attached: training and effective participation of Ministry of the Interior staff within the frame of labour safety and health protection in relation to hazardous substances, training of the Institute of Criminology members, testing protective clothing for Pyrotechnical Service members and the Czech Republic Police Rapid Reaction Unit members).
The DETOXIKON Project is divided into three basic modules, which are continuously being developed with regard to the level of knowledge in the given field, representing the most current issues as well as international know-how.
The most dominant is the educative element where staff exposed to risks is informed about the issue of „micro-dosing“ (i.e. micro doses of psychoactive substance causing clinical symptoms), their spreading as well as prevention and effects on the human organism (see appendices to the presentation ).
Another part of the entire programme is decontamination of workplaces and vehicles, including adjustments to standard operating procedures. (see appendices to the presentation).
On the level of experiments (support provided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech republic, Number FV30483 the TRIO 2018 – 2021 Programme, see the appendix), we are developing a specific therapy where staff exposed to micro-doses is managed to handle effects of the substances through neurostimulation, neurokinetic stimulation, audiovisual stimulation, combined with an appropriately designed nutrition plan. Individuals who underwent chronic intoxication, e.g. by methamphetamine, become hypersensitive even to nanogram doses, which may result in intensive physical reactions, for example headache, seizures, muscle spasms and uncontrolled behaviour. Intoxication mental phase symptoms are mitigated by nutritional supplements application, as conventional medicament preparations by their effects by far exceed the effects of the harmful substance and thus cause undesired manifestations. The most important, at this phase of intoxication, is psychosocial assistance to the afflicted and their loved ones, which will help both parties overcome the highly stressful manifestations of intoxication in the action and behaviour of the individuals involved. A significant part of the therapy has proven to be fitness training aimed at maintaining physical integrity upon sudden incremental body mass loss. Another part of the programme is holistic detoxification. It is composed of neurophysical diagnostics, heart rate diagnostics and its variations (HRV) in persons chronically exposed to methamphetamine and iodine. Further, application of training and procedures to eliminate the active influence of stressors and trauma to body structures utilising the method of Trauma Release Exercise – TRE (methods, procedures, individual phases of intoxication development elimination and convalescence, stress and body structure trauma influence elimination). Simultaneously, a wellness programme is implemented, which is focused on detoxification of organism using organism deacidification using Dr. Jenthur preparations, floating tub to achieve deep relaxation understanding and sleep optimisation, lymphatic massages, special sauna application and organism hardening proves as well as the influence of cold and cold therapy for the purpose of improving body structure regeneration. The purpose of these procedures is namely to calm down, relax, and cleanse the entire organism, speed up the process of cell structures structural metabolic nutrition and overall organism regeneration.
DETOXIKON also focuses on data collection and its professional processing within scientific papers. The first publications were presented in autumn 2018 at professional conferences and in international professional press.
In relation to the DETOXIKON Project, more than 1000 members of security service units both in the Czech Republic and abroad were trained in the years 2014-18 (for example: European Incident Commanders Guidelines Workshop, RU CATO FP7 Project at the College of Policing, UK). The training was focused mainly on the area of labour safety and health protection in the area of risk prevention and labour safety and health protection in drug enforcement units, forensic services and investigation departments of the Customs Administration and mobile supervision units. Gradual introduction of procedures of workplace purification from residual micro-contamination in everyday processes lead to elimination of relapses and this also reducing both long-term damage to health and potential morbidity. Within the frame of the Ministry of the Interior resort and other security services within the frame of the Czech Republic, the project receives wide support and is positively perceived both by departments and staff active in the field of labour safety and health protection, for whom we are preparing training within the frame of national conventions. We also co-operate with the Labour Safety Research Institute of the Czech Republic and prepare training for labour inspectors.
Results of the pilot phase of the project were presented in the year 2017 at the CBRN E-Convergence Conference in Indianapolis, USA, where the issue of methamphetamine micro-contamination was presented. The following findings regarding the impact of micro-contamination on health were for the first time presented at the ALL HAZARDS Conference (Ireland, 2018) and at the same time published in the CBRNe World (see the appendix).
The results achieved will be reflected in international practice within the frame of the European project of „Strengthening the Capacity of Turkish Forensic Laboratories in combating Illicit Drug Trafficking“ (TR 16 IPA JH 02 18) for Turkish drug enforcement unit staff.
RESULTS ACHIEVED /EFFECTIVENESS OF MEASURES
Within the frame of the Detoxikon Project pilot phase, a number of diagnostic measurements and tests were performed, with a following application of some of the techniques and procedures for elimination of active influences of stressors and body structure traumas, relaxation and sleep optimisation, procedures and processes for improvement of body structures regeneration, calming down, unblocking and cleansing of the entire organism, speeding up the process of structural and metabolic nutrition for cell structures and overall organism regeneration. Based on the measurements performed, the trial groups was, within the period monitored, observed to show, based on objective assessment, a decrease in symptomatic indications of intoxication such as non-specific headache, gastrointestinal tract complications, muscle spasms and cramps, lack of concentration and mental imbalance as well as an increase in the ability to handle work tasks and resist stress load.
Measurement of conditions and cognitive functions effectiveness, assessment of heart rate variability measurement, and cardio-vascular system functioning performed in the trial group of persons within the period monitored showed an improvement in conditions compared to the originally measured values after sub-threshold intoxication namely in the following areas:
- Cognitive processes stability
- Increase in the ability to concentrate
- Increase in stability of autonomic nervous system functioning
- Decrease in body stress as represented namely by a decrease in overall muscle tonus and tension / subcutaneous structure spasms
- Increase in stress resistance and improvement in the ability to resist the influence of stress factors
Within the frame of the project we presume that diagnostic measurements, application of select procedures and consequent monitoring of results shall further be performed, on another group of selected persons, so that the results acquired could be further validated, and consequently determine specific procedures and methods, which can be applied in actual practice on the part of persons subject to risks.
We presume that the results of our project may also have substantial benefit also to other areas and activities, in which staff involved is intoxicated with chemicals and compounds, which may, upon a long-term effect of sub-threshold exposure values, influence cognitive, neurocognitive and neuromuscular structure, possibly may in sensitive individuals and in individuals with a higher level of contamination trigger non-specific symptoms. We assume that the issue of a similar nature may also concern a number of areas and professions, such as medical staff operating namely in specific areas of activities where they come in contact with intoxicating substances, biological substances, radioactive materials etc, staff dealing with deratisation, disinfection, disinfestation, liquidation of moulds and other microorganisms, professions securing handling and transportation of hazardous substances and mixtures with a risk of potential exposure etc …
Within the frame of the Detoxikon Project, a special methodology was developed for application of observation meditation in everyday life, entitled „24/7 PROTOKOL“. It enables individuals better observe the conditions of body exertion release and better deal with everyday stress.