As more drugs become controlled substances, new synthetic alternatives are hitting the streets claiming to be legal versions of illicit drugs and promising similar effects with little to no risks. However, as many new drugs are being marketed as “dietary supplements” in the hopes of avoiding regulations and inspections, they are often unmonitored and can contain an unknown cocktail of chemicals. Party Pills, sold legally under brand names like Cok-N, Xplode, or XTC, are some of the newest drugs in stores claiming to offer users a legal and safe high.
What are Party Pills?
A psychoactive substance meant to offer an effect similar to amphetamines, ecstasy, or LSD. The main ingredient in Party Pills was originally benzylpiperazine (BZP). BZP is now listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance, so current versions of the drug contain a wide variety of substances the most common of which are: caffeine, citrus aurantium and geranamine (geranium extract).
Marketed as a dietary supplement, party pills are largely unregulated and untested. Due to the lack of monitoring, there is virtually no way to know what substances the pills actually contain or to know the exact amounts in each pill. Falsely touted as a natural supplement, or an “herbal high” party pills are entirely synthetic containing no natural ingredients.
Many brands of party pills claim to offer cocaine or methamphetamine like effects. Users have reported experiencing alertness and euphoria with effects lasting four to six hours.
The side effects of the drug include blurred vision, dilated pupils, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, vomiting, hallucinations, hyperventilation, repertory failures, and seizures. Hospitalization most often occurs when the user mixes party pills with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs.
Because these substances are relatively new, there is little known about their long term effects. Studies suggest that use of party pills could lead to long term anxiety and increase the likelihood of dependency and other stimulant abuse.
Since the ingredients in party pills cause a similar reaction as other central nervous system stimulants, users are likely facing similar harm. Although party pills create similar effects at a reduced strength, once an individual becomes accustomed to functioning in an altered state, he or she can face withdrawal symptoms leading to dependence and ultimately addiction.
No drugs, despite their labeling or claims, are risk free. Party Pills are another “legal” drug made in an attempt to bypass the current controlled substances laws. With no way to know exactly what is in them or the long term effects on health, users are taking a risk consuming a drug that falsely markets itself as “natural and safe.”