Drug Edicts

Written by Niki D Category: Hot Topics Issue: August 2012
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Useful information about the newly-illicit “bath salt” narcotics profiled in this month’s Hot Topics. Chemicals commonly found in “bath salts”:

* - currently unrestricted, but could be prosecutable under the Federal Analog Act

+ - banned in Arizona
# - federally banned

# Mephedrone: First synthesized for academic chemistry research in 1929, this stimulant re-emerged in 2003, when the formula was published on now-defunct website The Hive by an underground chemist going by the name “Kinetic.” One of three synthetic cathinones restricted under the DEA’s temporary emergency ban, effective October 21, 2011.

#+ Methylone: Patented as an anti-depressant in 1996, this analog of MDMA (more commonly known as “Ecstasy”) was first banned in the U.K., in April, 2010. Also restricted under the DEA’s emergency federal ban of October, 2011.

#+ Metheylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV): Developed in the 1960s and reportedly used to treat chronic fatigue, pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim filed a patent application for MDPV in 1969. The first seizure of MDPV by customs officials as a recreational drug took place in Germany in 2007. Also restricted under the DEA’s emergency federal ban of October, 2011.

+ Methedrone: One of the newer synthetic cathinones, methedrone’s use as a “designer drug” was first noted in the peer-reviewed medical journal Xenobiotica in 2006. Aside from its chemical profile (4-methoxymethcathinone), little is known about the compound, which emerged after mephedrone was restricted in many countries. Forensic examiners in Sweden attributed the deaths of two men in 2009 to methedrone poisoning. Banned in Arizona in February, 2012.

+ Fluoromethcathinone: Denmark first reported this newer synthetic to the European Early Warning System in September, 2008. The following year, Europol reported large seizures of the drug in the Netherlands, as well as the discovery and dismantling of several clandestine labs that were manufacturing the compound. Banned in Arizona in February, 2012. 

# 3 Methylenedioxyamphetamine (3 MDA): First synthesized in 1910 by G. Mannish and W. Jacobson, MDA was licensed to Smith Kline and French pharmaceuticals in 1930, who began human trials in 1941 to test the compound as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The United States Army reportedly experimented with MDA (under the name EA-1298) while trying to develop a “truth serum.” In 1958, H.D. Brown patented it as a cough suppressant. It began to appear as a recreational drug in the early 1960s.

* 3,4 Dimethylmethcathinone: Another stimulant analog which arose after mephedrone restrictions, very little is known about its effects, though its chemical profile is similar to mephedrone and methcathinone.

* 3,4-Methylenedioxy-a-pyrrolidinobutyrophenone (MDPBP): Sold as a “research” chemical, MDPBP is another newer synthetic cathinone of which little is known.

+ 3,4-Methylenedioxy-a-pyrrolidinopropiophenone (MDPPP): This designer stimulant was first marketed in Germany in the late 1990s and early 2000s as an ingredient in “herbal ecstasy” pills. Banned in Arizona in February, 2012.

+ Naphyrone: Derived from the psychoactive drug pyrovalerone, this little-studied analog is known be a triple reuptake inhibitor, which means it increases the brain’s concentration of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Banned in Arizona in February, 2012.

+ Butylone: Synthesized in 1967 by Koeppe, Ludwig and Zeile, who published their finding in academic papers. In 2005, the compound moved from academic obscurity to the streets, when chemical supply companies began carrying it as a “research” chemical. Banned in Arizona in February, 2012.

* Buphedrone: First synthesized in 1928 to determine its effect on blood sugar, it’s now sold as a “research chemical” and said to be 2-3 times more potent than methcathinone.