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Article Summary

BZP

What is BZP?

BZP is a common name for the synthetic drug N-benzylpiperazine, a stimulant that is approximately 10 to 20 times more potent than amphetamine. BZP tablets, especially those that also contain the hallucinogen TFMPP (1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine), often are sold as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy) or promoted as an alternative to MDMA.

What does BZP look like?

BZP typically is available as a powder, which may be packaged in small glass or plastic vials or in small plastic resealable bags. BZP powder often is pressed into tablets, many of which are embossed with logos. BZP is occasionally available in capsules.

How is BZP used?

BZP usually is consumed orally. The drug also can be snorted or smoked, but these methods of administration are less common. Common oral dosages of BZP range from 20 to 200 milligrams. The effects of BZP generally last from 6 to 8 hours.

Who abuses BZP?

BZP primarily is abused by teenagers and young adults. The drug often is used at raves, nightclubs, private parties, and other venues where the use of club drugs, particularly MDMA, is well established.

What are the risks?

The risks associated with BZP abuse are similar to those associated with amphetamine abuse. Stimulants, including BZP and amphetamine, decrease appetite, dilate pupils, and increase blood pressure and heart and respiration rates. Other effects include anxiety, blurred vision, dizziness, and insomnia. Chronic abuse of stimulants can cause irregular heartbeat and can lead to delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Compounding these risks is the uncertainty of the BZP dosage in a particular tablet, capsule, or quantity of powder--high dosages can cause overdoses. Further, BZP tablets often contain additional substances. Laboratory testing of some tablets that contained BZP showed that the tablets also contained TFMPP, cocaine, and dextromethorphan (DXM).

What is it called?

The most common street terms for BZP are listed below.

  • 1-benzylpiperazine
  • A2
  • Frenzy
  • Nemesis

Is BZP illegal?

Yes, BZP is illegal. In March 2004 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) designated BZP a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs, which include heroin and MDMA, have a high potential for abuse and serve no legitimate medical purpose in the United States.

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