2C-P: A Scary New Party Drug

Teens overdosing on drugs at concerts? Sadly, it's nothing new. But last month, when cops were called to a Connecticut amusement park performance, they found several people collapsed from a little known hallucinogen, 2C-P. Police used CPR and defibrillation to treat one young man who was not breathing and had no pulse, and others were hospitalized.
Jared Rosenthal
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Teens overdosing on drugs at concerts? Sadly, it’s nothing new. But last month, when cops were called to a Connecticut amusement park performance, they found several people collapsed from a little known hallucinogen, 2C-P. Police used CPR and defibrillation to treat one young man who was not breathing and had no pulse, and others were hospitalized.

Effects of 2C-P

2C-P is a long-lasting and very potent drug; its powerful psychedelic effects don’t begin start until a few hours after a person takes it, so there’s an added danger that the user might take other drugs before the 2C-P takes effect. The effects of this drug can last for 10 to 20 hours.

2C-P contains the psychoactive chemical phenethylamine, which causes both psychoactive and stimulant effects, and is sold in blotter paper form (similar to LSD) or in dropper bottles.

Because 2C-P is relatively new and also a rarely used drug, information about its use and effects is limited. But the little information that is available is scary: dire warnings against the use of this drug are strongly present in the substance abuse prevention community.

2C-P More Dangerous than LSD, Heroin?

Users report a general change in consciousness that occurs with most psychoactive substances; auditory and visual hallucinations; confusion and scrambled thoughts and a distorted sense of time. These effects are generally perceived as being positive or neutral.

But reports of negative effects stemming from the use of 2C-P are almost double those of “positive” or “neutral” effects. The negative effects include nausea and vomiting; jaw clenching and muscle spasms; fear, anxiety, or paranoia; severe mental confusion; motor impairment; increased blood pressure and significantly elevated heart rate.

Medics who responded to the incident in Connecticut reported that 2C-P can cause the body to rapidly overheat and this—along with the increase in heart rate and elevated blood pressure—may be responsible for the “mass casualty” event that occurred.

It is significant to note that the users who documented their experience with 2C-P are experienced drug users, persons both comfortable and practiced with the use of psychoactive substances. Despite this, they still reported that the intensity and duration of the effects of 2C-P were in many cases overwhelming, disturbing and unpleasant. This, combined with its known physical dangers, makes 2C-P a very scary “party” drug.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

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