What is BZP?
A New Zealand Medical journal published about the ‘toxic effects of an herbal party pill (December, 2005 vol. 118 N. 1227) that contains BZP or benxylpiperazine could pose serious danger such as poisoning in some individuals. The journal indicated also that since 2004 young New Zealanders commonly use the drug to produce more energy or alertness mentally and physically, as well as increasing positive and happy mood. Although pills made from BZP has been claimed to be herbal or safe, in truth, it is made of synthetic drug ( sympathomimetic) that could cause negative effects such as acute psychosis, renal poisoning, and seizures. In this study, results show that females demonstrated more negative effects frequently than that of males.
What is Benzylpiperazine?
A chemically synthetic drug that is commonly called recreational drug as it used for personal enjoyment and for increasing alertness and higher level of energy. It is also popularly known as ‘designer’ drug or ‘party’ drug because it is often related to underground youth dance party called ‘Raves’ wherein techno music is played and everybody dance while taking the party pill or drug that have psychoactive substances. The term ‘designer drug was coined because it was made by changing the molecular structure of other drugs to form a new one that has the same effects as the former. Those that prepared the new drug are called ‘cookers’. The drug could be administered orally, smoked, ingested, snorted, or injected. Common dosages of BZP range from 20 to 200 milligrams and its effect lasts for 6 to 8 hours. It is one of the families of piperazine-based psychoactive compounds.
BZP was first produced synthetically by Wellcome Research Laboratories UK for as a drug to destroy or remove intestinal parasitic worms of livestock. But, it was not utilized as it caused bad effects on mammals such as seizures. After several years, it was found that BZP causes hyperactivity and involuntary head movements in human beings. In the 1990s, it was noted that BZP was used for personal euphoric experience in California. In 1999, the use of BZP became more popular in New Zealand and an action to prohibit it was taken in 2007. The drug also became known in Europe as early as year 2000.
Harmful side effects
The BZP when taken between 50 to 200 milligrams may feel euphoric, more active, rapid rise in mood, increased sociability and more appreciation for music. However, potential harmful effects are noted such as decrease in appetite, increased heart rate, dilation of pupil, nausea, slight headache, fatigue, insomnia, confusion and depression (when heavily used) , to name a few. Although there were no death-causing effects, BZP hay have poisoning effects such as blurred vision, chest pain, palpitation, agitation, and tremor with more sever effect such as respiratory failure.
BZP or benzylpiperazine is available in the market and tagged as ‘dietary supplement’ to escape from stringent laws on drugs. Synthetically manufactured, BZP is made from piperazine and produced as hydrochloride salt or free base.