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Methoxetamine: An International Designer Drug on the Watch List
Methoxetamine sometimes referred to as Mexxy and/or MXE, is a new drug appearing on international radar alerts to recreational drug use. The drug is a hallucinogenic with dissociative properties. Users of MXE experience distortions of sight and sound which lead to a sense of being separated from one’s immediate surroundings including oneself. MXE is a laboratory created chemical compound not yet proven to be safe for humans and as such carries with it any number of unknown and unpredictable side effects.
MXE joins a long list of "designer drugs" or drugs which are created clandestinely by tweaking the formulations of already regulated or prohibited substances. These designer drugs sell quickly via pseudo pharmacies on the Internet until they are discovered and come under stringent government control and regulation. By then, the Internet pharmacy has disappeared and the drug makers are busy reinventing a new designer drug for marketing.
Experts suggest that MXE probably best resembles the known drug Ketamine, an anesthetic with dissociative properties used by veterinarians and some physicians around the world. Websites selling MXE have marketed it as a legal version of Ketamine, meaning that no medical or veterinary license is required to purchase the substance.
Sadly, many people confuse the legality of a substance with its safety. MXE is not safe for human use. The drug is so far known to produce eye malfunctions, loss of balance, lack of coordination, impaired speech and even to result in a catatonic state.
Though still legal in some places around the globe, April saw the United States Government issue a temporary ban on supplying or selling MXE. As of last month it became illegal in the U.S. to deal in the substance in any way although personal possession of the drug is not illegal. The U.S. government ban is a temporary order which can remain in effect for as long as one year from the date of issue. During this time, an Advisory Council will determine if the drug ought to be placed under a permanent government ban. An international ban on the substance is yet to be forthcoming.
What happens internationally is of concern to U.S. drug enforcement since many of the pseudo pharmacies which create designer drugs exists outside of the country where regulations are less strict. This makes controlling the sale of such drugs that much more complicated. The rapidity with which these substances can be made and marketed over the Internet make controlling them particularly challenging for drug enforcement officials.
Clearly there needs to be a greater collaborative effort between international governments and drug agencies if there is to be any measurable success in dealing with dangerous substances such as MXE.