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A Rising Teen Fad: 2C-B
2C-B and 2C-T-7 are the technical-sounding names for two synthetic psychedelic drugs that are popular in the rave scene. While they aren’t as well-known as other club drugs like Ecstasy or MDMA, they are widespread, and are sometimes sold as Ecstasy or LSD. Although it’s been around for decades, 2C-B has been rising in popularity and seems to be following a global trend of increasing synthetic drug use.
What Is It?
Both 2C-B and 2C-T-7 are man-made compounds in the 2C drug family, which also includes Ecstasy.
2C-B: Standing for 4-bromo-2, 5-dimethoxyhenethylamine, 2C-B is also known as “Venus,” “Nexus” or “Spectrum.”
2C-T-7: Standing for 2, 5-dimethoxy-4-(n) ropylthiophenethylamine, this synthetic drug is sometimes called “7th Heaven,” “7-up” or “Tripstasy.”
A chemist named Alexander Shulgin invented 2C-B in his lab in the 1970s. Like many synthetic drugs, 2C-B was first used in psychiatric therapy sessions. It didn’t take long for its effects to become well known, however, and this drug soon appeared on the street and as a legal commercial aphrodisiac drug sold as “Eros” in Germany. Over the next several years, 2C-B became a banned substance in Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries. In response, chemists manufactured other 2C-type drugs, including TC-T-7, in an effort to continue legal sales. These compounds were banned in Europe shortly afterward. 2C-B and other 2C drugs have been illegal in the U.S. since 1995.
How It’s Used
2C-B and 2C-T-7 usually come in a pill or capsule form, but also come in a powder. These drugs can be ingested, snorted or occasionally vaporized and inhaled. Some users take this drug in conjunction with Ecstasy to make the experience last longer.
The effects of 2C-B are similar to both Ecstasy and LSD. Some studies show that the effects are also similar to amphetamine. This drug facilitates the release of excess dopamine in the brain. The primary effects usually last two to five hours:
- Euphoric feeling
- Vivid hallucinations
- Sharp sinus pain (if snorted)
- Distortions of time or reality
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of coordination
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Severe headache
- Anxiety, paranoia
- Accelerated heart rate
Unfortunately, little is known about the long-term effects of these synthetic drugs and few studies have been done on them. Some dangers are known, though they mostly come from anecdotal accounts. Just recently, for example, a report in the UK stated that one student was left in critical condition after taking 2C-B purchased over the Internet.
Impurity: Like many synthetic black-market drugs, 2C-B and 2C-T7 are notoriously impure, meaning they often contain other compounds, which can range from MDMA to cocaine to bath salts. Often, 2C-B is cut into cocaine and Ecstasy to increase manufacturer profits. Many LSD and Ecstasy users have in fact taken 2C-B and didn’t know it.
Co-effects: Many reports of hospital visits or overdoses attributed to 2C-type drugs often included the use of other substances, especially alcohol and opiates like OxyContin. Unfortunately, these drugs are often combined in order to draw out the effect or to add another “feeling” to the high (when combined with Ecstasy, for example, 2C-B adds visual hallucinations).
The Rise of Synthetics
2C-B is not a new drug, but it has remained in obscurity until recently, and in many places is still relatively unknown. The re-emergence of 2C-B and 2C-T-7 appear to reflect a shift in global drug use, from the well-known drugs of the Boomer generation such as opium, cocaine and heroin, toward synthetic drugs, such as MDMA, Spice (synthetic marijuana) and bath salts. Many experts believe that this trend reflects users’ needs to avoid positive drug tests, as many of these compounds do not show up in standard tests administered to employees.
While still unknown to many teens and their families, 2C-B and 2C-T-7 are becoming more popular as rave drugs, often used with—and sometimes marketed as—the more familiar Ecstasy. However, these drugs offer the same concerns as many other synthetics, including problems with purity and false marketing. These drugs have also been studied very little, and their long-term health effects, including their addiction potential, are virtually unknown. Like other club drugs, 2C-B and 2C-T-7 are often combined with alcohol and other drugs, which may “enhance” the high, but also enhance the dangerous side effects, ranging from hangovers to cardiac failure.