Benzylpiperazine (BZP)

  • methamphetamine-like stimulant that has recently been the subject of much investigation in New Zealand (where it is legal and used as a party drug)
    • effects include euphoria, enhanced sensory perception (whoa, this glo stick won't stop blinking out coded messages and this trance music tastes like the ocean!), hyperactivity, and stereotypy (constant repetition of certain meaningless gestures or movements, often seen in schizophrenics)
    • repeated use leads to sensitization (less drug required to produce same effect) and cross-sensitization to crystal meth in rats
    • less potent and probably less addictive than crystal meth (but potentially addictive nonetheless!)
  • several contributing mechanisms of action, with the net result being the enhancement of the effects of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine (all monoamine neurotransmitters) in the brain
  • was originally designed in a lab to be an anthelmintic (works against parasitic worms) agent, to be used to expel wormies (particularly roundworms and pinworms, I don't recommend clicking those links!) from farm animals, on the basis of its structure resembling a group of compounds that are capable of paralyzing parasites (detaching them from the intestinal wall and thus permitting them to be pooped out)
    • was found to be not very good at de-worming and, being a stimulant, caused restlessness and anorexia in animals, so it was scrapped
  • tested in the early 1970s as a potential antidepressant, stopped when people realized it had amphetamine-like properties that probably were making things worse (especially if anxiety was a comorbidity with the depression, nothing like being hyperactive and anxious at the same time!)
  • can cause serious toxicity in some people, as there have been reports of seizures that can progress to status epilepticus as well as severe respiratory and metabolic acidosis
- Brennan K et al. Chronic benzylpiperazine (BZP) exposure produces behavioral sensitization and cross-sensitization to methamphetamine (MA). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006 Nov 22; [Epub ahead of print]
- Gee P et al. Toxic effects of BZP-based herbal party pills in humans: a prospective study in Christchurch, New Zealand. N Z Med J. 2005 Dec 16;118(1227):U1784.

3 chemically inspired comments:

NZer said...

A generally OK high, but the comedown can be nasty. Leaves you feeling crap for 72 hours afterward - too long a hangover for it to be worth it IMHO.

CND said...

I consider anything that gives me a hangover lasting more than 24 hours to definitely not be worth it. 72 hours is just insane. I've had influenza infections that haven't lasted that long!

Anyway, thanks for the info. I look to my readers for the inside scoop.

Rxlist said...

If used as a focus-stimulant (like coffee to most people), and not taken in doses fit to kick a dead horse back to life, the hangover is hardly noticeable.

But I'd recommend Modafinil over any other stimulant for the purpose of staing awake and being focused.