Sunday, May 13, 2007

The ill-effects of party pills

Because of their innocuous names and because they are taken orally there is a growing acceptance of the use of chemical substances to facilitate a biochemical change in brain function, or what is usually called 'a high'.

In todays Herald there is a good piece on some of the problems related to these 'party pills'.

Meanwhile a Wellington-based major clinical trial on party pills and their active ingredients BZP and TFMPP, was pulled late last year after 35 of its planned 64 subjects reacted so badly it was too dangerous to continue.

"We were concerned about the nature and severity of the adverse events range of side effects from anxiety to panic attacks, headaches and migraines, through to vomiting," says Professor Richard Beasley of the New Zealand Medical Research Institute who directed the trial - the first clinical trial in the world.

When a trial like this is terminated it is for ethical reasons. Having identified that the drugs are causing harm, the trial has to be terminated to prevent causation of further harm.

Also introduced in this article is the 'gate-way' theory where it has been identified that taking 'softer' drugs leads to taking 'harder' drugs. What causes this is uncertain but it could be due to an alteration to the chemical composition of the brain.

Banning these substances is not going to work, as it it will just drive these 'businessmen' underground. They are quite simply making too much profit to give up destroying so many young lives.


Anonymous said...

The trial that was mentioned in that article was originally intended to be run in two phases - a) BZP with Alcohol, and b) BZP alone. The trial was terminated during (a) and (b) was never performed. It's not surprising that people had problems with BZP and Alcohol - even the packet says not to.

mawm said...

Go to the party, have a few Alco-pops, loss of common sense plus peer pressure, take some BZP - sounds like BZP and Alcohol just go together.