Why the ‘NBOMe’ compounds are not “The Bomb”
The psychoactive phenethylamines ‘NBOMe’ compounds have hit the streets of United States with quite an explosion. Numerous hospitalizations and even deaths have been attributed to the use of these drugs. There are numerous variations of these compounds including 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe; 2C-I-NBOMe; 25I; Cimbi-5), 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe; 2C-C-NBOMe; 25C; Cimbi-82), and 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe; 2C-B-NBOMe; 25B; Cimbi-36).1 As with the numerous chemical and street names of these compounds there are also numerous side effects with their use and include: hypertension, agitation/aggression, visual and auditory hallucinations, seizures, hyperpyrexia, clonus, elevated white blood cell count, and metabolic acidosis. Rhabdomyolysis leading to renal failure has also been documented.
The effects of the NBOMe compounds can last between 6 and 10 hours if taken sublingually. Anecdotal user reports include the following effects: euphoria, mental/physical stimulation, feelings of love/empathy, a change in consciousness and unusual body sensations.2 Users typically administer the drug via insufflation, orally and intravenously. Inactivation may occur if swallowed and therefore these compounds are usually held in the mouth (sub-lingual or buccal) or via the nasal membranes. These compounds are very potent; therefore the risk of toxicity is high. Inadequate measurement of dose has led to numerous overdoses. The risks of using these compounds have been widely documented via news and social media sources. We will hopefully see a decrease in the prevalence of use of these dangerous compounds with the steps that have been taken around the world to legally control these compounds.1
- Schedules of controlled substances: temporary placement of three synthetic phenethylamines into Schedule I. Final order. Drug Enforcement Administration. Accessed December 2, 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24236337>
- Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs: ‘Benzofury’ and ‘NBOMe’ Compounds. Accessed: December 2, 2013 <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/204808/J_TCDO_report