Ecstasy Mimics: The NYC off-white Obama logo tablets contain the real stuff

December 12, 2009, 3:07 pm

obama_ecstasyA recent post by Richard Metzger on Brand X site questions whether the widely reported samples of ecstasy tablets shaped like President Obama’s head actually contained the drug (MDMA). He mentioned a recent seizure of this product in North Carolina that — upon analysis by GC/MS — was shown to cotain BZP (benzylpiperazine), TFMPP (trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine)  and caffeine.

However, his reporting was incomplete.  The August 2009 issue of DEA Microgram Bulletin described seizure in New York City of two off-white Obama tablets that did contain MDMA — in addition to BZP, TFMPP, procaine, and caffeine.  The notice did not list the quantitative composition of the tablets.

What about the other ingredients?  BZP is a sympathomimetic stimulant, often used to mimic amphetamine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy.  It is a schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States.

TFMPP is a synthetic piperazine, often combined with BZP.  This combination increases the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, producing ecstasy-like effects.  By itself, TFMPP seems to cause unpleasant effects and so at this point is not an illegal drug under U.S. federal law (although it is controlled in some states).

BZP/TFMPP can cause anxiety, nausea and vomiting, headaches, hallucinations, and myalgias.  These effects may be markedly exacerbated when BZP/TFMPP is taken along with alcohol.

Other popular shapes for ecstasy mimic tablets include Bart Simpson, Homer Simpso, Ninja Turtle, Snoopy, and Smurf.

One Comment:

  1. precordialthump Says:

    I’m not sure that Kevin Rudd shaped tablets would go down well in Australia…