2C-P: A long-lasting and potent drug

Psychedelic effects come a few hours after being taken and can last for up to 20 hours

Higher doses of 2C-P can lead to nausea and vomiting; muscle spasms; fear, anxiety and paranoia; mental confusion; and increased blood pressure and elevated heart rate

Higher doses of 2C-P can lead to nausea and vomiting; muscle spasms; fear, anxiety and paranoia; mental confusion; and increased blood pressure and elevated heart rate

 

2C-P is a long-lasting and potent drug that is relatively new to Ireland. As a result, there is little information available about its use and effects.

Its powerful psychedelic effects don’t take effect until a few hours after being taken, often in blotter paper form or as a liquid from a dropper. Its effects can last for up to 20 hours, far longer than with most other former headshop-type drugs.

Sometimes likened by users to a form of “low-grade LSD” because of the kind of hallucinations it engenders, the drug differs from its older psychedelic cousin in not having a known safety profile.

In addition, it has a very tight dose-response curve, so a difference of a few milligrams in the amount taken can produce very different results. At lower doses, it causes a change in consciousness common to other psychoactive substances: hallucinations; confusions; and a distorted sense of time.

With higher doses, negative effects include nausea and vomiting; muscle spasms; fear, anxiety and paranoia; mental confusion; and increased blood pressure and elevated heart rate.

The delay in onset may lead to people taking more 2C-P or other drugs in the belief that they haven’t taken optimum dose. A second problem is that an increase of just a few milligrams can make a big difference; at 8 to 10 mg, reports of hallucinations are generally positive but doses of 12mg or more are associated with the negative and unwanted side-effects listed above.

2C-P is not easy to make so it is possible potency can vary according to the manufacturing process. As with other illegal drugs, purchasers cannot be certain they are getting what they believe they are buying, either in terms of content or dose.

In 2013, 2C-P and another drug were blamed after seven young people required emergency medical help, including CPR and defibrillation to resuscitate some of them, at a concert in Connecticut.