Erowid References Database
Palamar JJ, Salomone A, Vincenti M, Cleland CM.
“Detection of bath salts and other novel psychoactive substances in hair samples of ecstasy/MDMA/Molly users”.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Feb 17.
Ecstasy (MDMA) in the US is commonly adulterated with other drugs, but research has not focused on purity of ecstasy since the phenomenon of Molly (ecstasy marketed as pure MDMA) arose in the US.
METHODS: We piloted a rapid electronic survey in 2015 to assess use of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and other drugs among 679 nightclub/festival-attending young adults (age 18-25) in New York City. A quarter (26.1) of the sample provided a hair sample to be analyzed for the presence of synthetic cathinones (bath salts) and some other NPS. Samples were analyzed using fully validated UHPLC-MS/MS methods. To examine consistency of self-report, analyses focused on the 48 participants with an analyzable hair sample who reported lifetime ecstasy/MDMA/Molly use.
RESULTS: Half (50.0) of the hair samples contained MDMA, 47.9 contained butylone, and 10.4 contained methylone. Of those who reported no lifetime use of bath salts, stimulant NPS, or unknown pills or powders, about four out of ten (41.2) tested positive for butylone, methylone, alpha-PVP, 5/6-APB, or 4-FA. Racial minorities were more likely to test positive for butylone or test positive for NPS after reporting no lifetime use. Frequent nightclub/festival attendance was the strongest predictor of testing positive for MDMA, butylone, or methylone.
Results suggest that many ecstasy-using nightclub/festival attendees may be unintentionally using bath salts or other NPS. Prevention and harm reduction education is needed for this population and drug checking (e.g., pill testing) may be beneficial for those rejecting abstinence.
Dance festivals; Ecstasy; Nightclubs; Novel psychoactive substances; Synthetic cathinones; nps; research chemical
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