Some science behind the scenes
TFMPP is a ‘recreational’ drug of the piperazine chemical class. In combination with its analogue benzylpiperazine (BZP), it is sold as an alternative to the illicit drug MDMA ("Ecstasy") under the name "Legal X".
The combination of BZP and TFMPP causes migraine headaches, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, paranoia, impotence and seizures. Whatever effects it produces are largely achieved via hypoxia and vasoconstriction in the brain, as such long term the effects are brain damage. “The drug can also cause the body to tremble for a long period of time”.
The USA DEA decided not to make TFMPP a controlled substance. In all other parts of the world it is illegal. Unfortunately making something illegal does not mean it can be controlled
AIM OF THE STUDY: In autumn of 2010, in response to an ever-increasing market of "new designer drugs" and in view of new legal regulations, the Sanitary Inspection inspected numerous so-called "smart shops" where such products were sold. In the course of mass inspections, 3545 packages of various preparations were secured on the market in the Malopolska province. A total of 942 preparations were collected for analysis; of this number, 539 were sold as tablets and pills and 403 as plant-derived substances. The objective of the study was to determine potentially psychoactive components of the investigated preparations.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The prepared samples were identified by employing an analytical procedure where the analytes were investigated by gas chromatography-electron impact mass spectrometry (GC-EI-MS) and thus a library of mass spectra was created.
RESULTS: The analysis revealed the following substances in the investigated products: piperazine derivatives (BZP, MPMP, TFMPP), cathinone derivatives (N-ethylcathinone, buthylone, ethylone, methylone, buphedrone, flephedrone), pyrovalerone derivatives (MDPV, naphyrone), and synthetic cannabinoids (AM-694, JWH-019, JWH-073, JWH-081, JWH-122, JWH-200, JWH-250).
CONCLUSIONS: An unlimited source, i.e. the Internet, continues to provide the worldwide market with preparations of this type and their composition is constantly modified. The scale and complexity of the problem pose a challenge to forensic and clinical toxicology in the field of new designer drugs.
These drugs kill people
A 3-year review of new psychoactive substances in casework - Elliott S1, Evans J2.
Following the initial popularity of mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) there has been a stream of new "recreational drugs" entering the global market. The lack of clinical studies on the effects and toxicity of these drugs has made interpretation of toxicological findings difficult. In an attempt to assist in a better understanding of the extent of their use and the fatalities that have been linked to these compounds we present our collated findings in post-mortem and criminal casework where these have been detected and/or implicated.
Between January 2010 and December 2012 we have detected new psychoactive substances (NPS) in 203 cases, with 120 cases in 2012 alone. The drugs detected in post-mortem blood and urine are, in order of decreasing frequency;
- synthetic cannabinoids,
- pentedrone and
Other drugs or alcohol were detected in 84% of the cases including other NPS and in fatalities it should be noted that alternative causes of death (including mechanical suicide, accidental death and non-psychoactive drug overdose) accounted for the majority.
Related to this was that of all fatalities involving cathinones, 41% of these were hangings or other mechanical suicides, this was a higher proportion than seen with other drugs found in such cases.
The presence of multiple NPS and/or other stimulants was a particular feature in various cases, however, of the drug deaths only 7% solely involved NPS. Across all case types and including some cases investigated in 2013, NPS concentrations showed a wide range but these and selected cases are presented to assist toxicological interpretation in future cases.