Alert méphédrone, new drugs for sale on the Net
This synthetic product has already caused several deaths in Great Britain. The French authorities are considering banning it.
The emergence of méphédrone on French soil for several weeks has concerned authorities to fight against drug abuse. This synthetic stimulant, which has since last summer considerable success across the Channel, is in fact suspected of being involved in two dozen deaths in England and Scotland. Without waiting until it breaks on the Hexagon, the National Commission on Narcotic Drugs has recently launched an evaluation procedure for its possible placement on the list of illicit substances. "We should be able to take action before the summer on whether such a measure," said Fabienne Bartoli, deputy director of the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products (AFSSAPS).
Thousands of capsules intercepted
Totally unknown until recently, the méphédrone is one of many synthetic drugs that mimic the effects "euphoria" of ecstasy and amphetamines, are undergoing rapid dissemination through the development of electronic commerce. Made in China by chemists competing imagination, these molecules are transported legally over the world to Europe, where those responsible for marketing their websites to provide very attractive rates. Based on an active principle similar to that of khat and the méphédrone was imposed last year across Europe, until a series of suspicious deaths have occurred in recent months in several countries to lead consumers prohibit consumption.
In France, in fall 2009 several regional correspondents of the French Observatory for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) reported the appearance of this substance in the form of powder or capsules, in some electro nights. Simultaneously, the monitoring of electronic forums seems to confirm the interest of young drug users for this new product. Finally, the recent seizure by French customs 200doses and 150 grams of powder confirmed the existence of traffic in other European countries, has already resulted in the interception of thousands capsules and several kilos of powder.
In charge of "recent trends and new drugs" in OFDT Agnes Cadet Taïrou stresses that "the available data are both too recent and too limited to the dissemination of this molecule in France can be accurately assessed. "Given the speed at which the méphédrone was established in Britain, however, we opted to assess the immediate risks posed by this molecule in terms of addiction, abuse and public health" For its part, says Fabienne Bartoli. If deemed necessary, the National Commission on Narcotic Drugs could then recommend the next few weeks the classification of this product to the Minister of Health.
In Britain, the ban scheduled to rise for several weeks méphédrone bitter dispute between medical experts. Some doctors believe indeed that the involvement of the symptoms observed in méphédrone has so far not been formally demonstrated. To date, only one case of overdose the méphédrone has indeed been confirmed in Sweden, for an autopsy. From another point of view, some experts point out that the prohibition of méphédrone risks further increasing its recent notoriety, and thus encourage some young people to experience. Finally, many scientists point out the limits of the classification procedure on synthetic drugs. "If you ban a given molecule, there are strong risks that chemists create an instant product almost similar, with the chemical formula will not however be prohibited," observes Agnes Cadet Taïrou.
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