Background: Reports of intoxications with new psychoactive substances (NPS) mostly involve young people, as they are the main consumers of these types of drugs. This report centers on a case that was unusual due to it being a mass-poisoning event involving middle-aged individuals who had consumed a combination of the two different new psychoactive drugs 2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylphenethylamine (2C-E) and 1-(8-bromofuro[2,3-f]benzofuran-4-yl)-2-propanamine (Bromo-DragonFly, BDF).
Case history: The mass poisoning of 29 individuals (24-56 years old) resulted in their admission to six different hospitals with severe symptoms of intoxication. All symptoms manifested after consumption of an unknown drug formulation around lunchtime during an esoteric weekend seminar.
Investigation: Urine (n = 11) and blood samples (n = 29), collected from the 29 individuals for police investigation, were analyzed with immunochemical techniques, GC/MS and LC-MS/MS. 2C-E was confirmed in seven urine samples, but not in blood. BDF was confirmed in all urine samples, and in 17 blood samples. The blood samples exhibited BDF concentrations between ca. 0.6 and ca. 2.0 μg/L, while urine concentrations of BDF ranged from ca. 1.6 to 35 μg/L. The concentration of 2C-E in urine was found to be between ca. 1.5 and 183 μg/L. All patients made a complete recovery, although some had required mechanical ventilation.
Conclusion: The investigation and the presentation of this case illustrates not only mass intoxication with 2C-E and BDF, with corresponding blood and urine concentrations, but also the necessity of collecting urine samples in cases where NPS-consumption is suspected, in order to improve the chances of analytical detection.
Keywords: 2C-E; Blood; Bromo-DragonFly; Concentration; Mass poisoning; Urine.