New phenethylamines in Europe

Drug Test Anal. Jul-Aug 2014;6(7-8):808-18. doi: 10.1002/dta.1570. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Abstract

Sixteen phenethylamines are now included in Schedules I and II of the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Most of the ring-substituted compounds are in Schedule I, whereas 2C-B, amphetamine, and methamphetamine are listed in Schedule II. Substances in Schedule IV (e.g. benzphetamine) are now regarded as obsolete pharmaceutical products. They all represent the 'old phenethylamines'. By 2013, nearly 100 illicit phenethylamines had been found in the European Union (EU). Of these, nine (MBDB, 4-MTA, PMMA, 2C-I, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7, TMA-2, 5-IT and 4-MA) were submitted for risk assessment by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). All except MBDB were recommended for EU-wide control. Of the 'new phenethylamines', 2C-B was the most commonly reported, but other 2C compounds were widespread. Many of the ring-substituted phenethylamines are described in the 1991 book PIHKAL. Many fused ring phenethylamines have appeared in the past few years; they include further benzofurans (e.g. 5-and 6-APB), indanylalkylamines (e.g. 5-IAP), dibenzofurans (e.g. 2C-B-FLY) and 2-aminopropylindoles (e.g.5-IT). The recent and rapid rise of phenethylamines with bulky N-substituents (e.g. 25I-NBOMe) has been particularly significant. Although not phenethylamines, it is notable that the thiophene bioisosteres of amphetamine and methamphetamine as well as certain conformationally-restricted variants (e.g. aminoindanes) have been found in recent drug seizures. In the United Kingdom Misuse of Drugs Act, most ring-substituted phenethylamines are either listed by name or are covered by generic definitions dating from 1977. In 2013, temporary generic legislation included a number of benzofurans, indanylalkylamines and certain 'NBOMe' compounds.

Keywords: EMCDDA; amphetamine derivatives; control status; recreational drugs; ring-substitution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / analysis*
  • Illicit Drugs / pharmacology
  • Phenethylamines / analysis*
  • Phenethylamines / pharmacology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / analysis*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacology
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods

Substances

  • Illicit Drugs
  • Phenethylamines
  • Psychotropic Drugs