Party Pills In New Zealand (BZP)

Youth are the building block of a community life, where the community that has less youth is menaced with extinction. Party Pills are on of the new junk substance that introduced to our society as an energy drink and pills on the last sixty years. Party pills, also known as ‘herbal highs’, ‘pep pills’ and dance pills are recreational drugs taken to increase a persons alertness as well as elevate their mood and energy. Since the year 2000, approximately 8 million party pills have been sold in New Zealand (Party pills Q&A, Thursday June 28, 2007). The pills are made with key ingredients such as Benzylpiperazine (BZP) and triflouro-methyl-phenylpiperazine (TFMPP) (FADE,’ Legal Drug Alternatives’ last updated December 2006). BZP first developed in the United States in the mid 1940’s as a likely anti-parasite agent, but later found to have anti-depressant properties (4). BZP is commonly grouped under the class of ‘designer drugs’ and has been classified as a C1 drug in New Zealand, which is a prohibited substance (FADE,’ Legal Drug Alternatives’ last updated December 2006). The main consumers of party pills in New Zealand are people aged between 18 and 25, but many aged over 25 have also been taking party pills. The pills consumed are affecting the consumers in ways that are damaging their health. In this essay, the structure of BZP, the short term and long term effects of party pills on the consumers, and my personal opinion on party pills will be discussed.
BZP is chemically synthesized and is not naturally occurring substance. BZP also shows amphetamine like stimulation and reuptake inhibition of dopamine (DA) and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the psychoactive properties of BZP”(5). The peripheral actions of BZP on alpha-2 adrenoceptors mediate reflex tachycardia and hypertension. The pharmacokinetics and human metabolism of BZP are incompletely understood, although BZP is known to be poorly metabolised and is largely excreted unchanged by the kidneys. Staack et al have recently carried out studies on metabolic pathways and postulated several enzymatic steps. The central component in the degradation of BZP is the cytochrome P450 enzyme system CYP2D6. This enzyme is known for its genetic polymorphism, which may explain the erratic distribution of adverse toxic effects, especially when co-administered with other drugs such as MDMA. Another enzyme involved in the breakdown of BZP is catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT), which is also known to express genetically determined variations of activity (5). No information is available on interactions with other prescribed or recreational drugs, effects on carrier protein binding, or toxicity of metabolites. Additive effects are likely but more research is required in the area. Both BZP and TFMPP produce similar effects to the drug ecstasy and to amphetamines, working on the brains chemistry and indirectly causing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Unfortunately the statistic of 2006 National Household Survey of Legal Party Pills use found that “one in five people have tried Party Pills at least once”(Party pills Q&A, Thursday June 28, 2007). Although there have been no enough study on the safety area of party pills they are legal to sale for over 18 only. However, they are really popular with kids as young as 12. Party Pills have been used really widely with youth as they take them to have a good time, stay awake all night- and hook into something’s excitingly. But it has been found that these Party Pills have many side _effect which can be divided onto two kinds depending on the user’s dosage. These kinds are the long term effects which result of a heavy dosage and short term effects which result of a normal dosage.

Starting with the short term effects of party pills on our consumers, that include nausea, raised heart rate, inability to sleep, dehydration, loss of appetite, depression, and hallucination. The effect of nausea can occur after party pills have been taken. This can cause a loss of appetite, which may lead to loss in weight, lower levels in glucose and lower blood pressure. This may then cause dizziness and a possibility of passing out. Going to inability to sleep, a lot of people don’t really know the effect of having less amount of sleeping. In fact, sleeping for less than 6 hours a day may cause serious problem, including headache, less ability to concentrate, which might end up with study failure for student or job lose for other. More over the most dangerous short term problems recorded that might face the consumer is depression. Depression is really serious according to the bad emotion that may result of it. This includes hallucination, memory loss and impaired brain function, cannabis psychosis that might end up the consumer to be left the on mental hospital or become a criminal or even suicide.

On the other hand, party pills can cause consumers to experience long term effects. The long term effects are more dangerous on consumers due to the poisoning to the body. This could include acute renal failure, seizures, blood clotting, heart, liver and kidney toxicity, coma and possibly lead to death. They have also different effect to gender as “Females presented with adverse effects more frequently than males” (Jarrod Booker, published on Thursday February 15, 2007). This may be because the BZP-containing party pills are not dosed per weight; therefore females being generally smaller may be taking a relatively higher dose than males. Exceeding recommended package doses may result in increased toxicity with some patients experiencing palpitations and/or vomiting for up to 24 hours after ingestion. Furthermore, some users now inject BZP intravenously to experience a faster onset of action, although this is reported as being painful due to is alkalinity (raw BZP in solution has a pH≥12). The majority of the toxic effects information came from a study conducted between 1 April 2005 to 1 September 2005.”They concluded that BZP appears to induce toxic seizures in neurologically normal subjects. The results of this study and others like it showed that BZP can cause unpredictable and serious toxicity in some individuals, but the data and dosage collection were reliant on self reporting by drug users, which may result in under-reporting, and there were complicating factors of the frequent presence of alcohol and other drugs “(Jarrod Booker, published on Thursday February 15, 2007). Combining Party Pills with alcohol or other drugs could make toxicological effects difficult to predict and may lead to. The research that has been done in about 30 years ago found that when drug companies found the effect of BZP on blood pressure and pulses were too marked but unfortunately they didn’t take trial further. One such example that a consumer of party pills has resulted in a coma is a 23 years old male in New Zealand. This individual bought party pills to keep him alert while he was deejaying all-night. He began shaking and sweating uncontrollably and had to be taken into the intensive care unit in the hospital. BZP was found in his system and he remained in an induced coma and induced damage to his liver and kidneys. This damage to his organs will be permanent and will need to go on ongoing medication to have his organs functioning properly. Party pills can have adverse affects on people and since party pills came to New Zealand, fifteen toxic seizures have been recorded and two patients have suffered life threatening conditons (Carroll du Chateau, published on Saturday May 12, 2007). Party pills were also blamed for the death of 29- year old at Foxton Beach in March 2004. The Levin coroner said a lethal cocktail of energy boosting herbal tablets and alcohol caused his hear failure (Party pills Q&A, Thursday June 28, 2007).
Further more; the most dangerous effect of party pills that may occur as a result of both short and long term effect is making the consumer addictive to it. As Jacqui Dean who is the MP of Otago said “Any level of public legitimacy is giving young people the message that psychoactive drugs are acceptable” (Carroll du Chateau, Saturday May 12, 2007). It is effect dose not stop in the way that the persons who take it cannot stop it easily but it is always force them to increase the level of dosage. “What happens in practice is that people start with BZP bought legally from shop, then are always looking for the next trip. We know they then injecting it, and then snorting it – there’s a very clear pathway”. The obsession of party pills may lead to individuals injecting party pills into their system as BZP would enter into their system quicker. Injecting party pills into their vine will transfer us to a new problem which is the spreading of disease as friends might use the same injection for themselves.

I have recognized that youth culture plays an important role in the choices and decision that young people make. I have considered that BZP alone is an amphetamine type stimulant and when used in combination with TFMPP, it copies the neurochemical response produced by esctasy and other amphetamine. This raises significant concerns regarding the frequent use and long-term safety of BZP and TFMPP containing products. BZP also appears to induce toxic seizures in neurologically normal subjects. Many consumers combine party pills with alcohol or other drugs which could make the toxicological effects difficult to predict and may lead to death. The discussion on party pills has has provided evidence of extreme damage to the human body. Professor David Fergusson said “it’s dirty drug that can have complications. And we need to bear that history in mind with the BZP” (Carroll du Chateau, published on Saturday May 12, 2007). I believe that Party pills should not be allowed in New Zealand, as it causes many effects that can be permanent and affect the way that we live. The classification of party pills should be upgrading to class A, as the substances of BZP and TFMPP can cause serious damage and illness to individuals. There is evidence that party pills do cause damaging affects to human systems through individuals throughout New Zealand ending up in hospital. However if party pills do not get band, at least band it for individuals aged below 18. there should also do more study on the safety area of it.

To sum up, Party Pills known as “Herbal Highs”, “Pep Pills” and “Dance Pills” are a colloquialism for a type of recreational drug whose main ingredients are Benzylpiperazine (BZP) and triflouro _methyl _ phenylpipererazine (TMFPP). BZP is part of a new drug class in New Zealand as C1, so it should not be sold to people under the age of 18 years old. Party Pills have a lot of adverse effect that can be classified under short and long term effect depending on the user’s dosage. Consumption of the short term effects discussed includes euphoria, increased alertness, muscle aches, agitation, hypertension and an altered mental alertness. While the long term effects due to poisoning could include acute renal failure, seizures, blood clotting, heart, liver and kidney toxicity and coma, and, possibly leading to death. That is not all it lead the consumer to become addictive to it. I believe that Party Pills should not be allowed in New Zealand.

Appendix:
Allen & Clarke. Report to the Ministry of Health: Proposal to classify BZP and related chemicals as Class C drugs under MODA . April 2007http://www.ndp.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagescm/1091 /$File/bzpanalysissubmissions.pdf, and fund on 25th-Sep.-2007
Party pills Q&A, published on Thursday June 28, 2007, www.nzherald.co.nz, and fund on 20th-Sep.-2007.

FADE, ‘Legal Drug Alternatives’ last updated December 2006, legal drug alternatives, http://www.cads.org.nz/Sorted/LegalDrugAlt.asp, and fund on 30th-Sep.-2007
Notional Drug policy New Zealand, http://www.ndp.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexcm/ndp-partypil public health faq, and fund on 3rd-Oct.-2007
Ban party pills- Mother’s plea as son fights for life, written by Jarrod Booker, published on Thursday February 15, 2007, www.nzherald.co.nz, and fund on 1st-Oct.-2007
The ill effect of party pills, written by Carroll du Chateau, published on Saturday May 12, 2007, www.nzherald.co.nz, and fund on 25th-Sep.-2007
party pills, http://www.nzdf.org.nz/party-pills, and fund on 1st-Oct.-2007

Thursday, March 18, 2004 8:29:11 PM (New Zealand Daylight Time, UTC+13:00, http://www.fastchicken.co.nz/blog/PermaLink,guid,62b333a0-4d3d-4598-b4dd-fff4d7ecdfc6.aspx

NZ DRUG FUNDATION, Massey University’s SHORE, http://www.nzdf.org.nz/party-pills, and fund on 23th-Sep.-2007

Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 16-December-2005, Toxic effects of BZP-based herbal party pills in humans: a prospective study in Christchurch, New Zealand
Paul Gee, Sandra Richardson, Wolfram Woltersdorf, Grant Moore http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/118-1227/1784/, and fund on 23th-Sep.-2007

Research on effects of party pills must be based on evidence, not prejudice Posted on 15 June 2006 Topic: Jim Anderton’s Press Releases, http://www.progressive.org.nz /modules .php?name=News&file=article&sid=2302, and fund on 25th-Sep.-2007

Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs advice to Jim Anderton
Date: 20 December 2006 Topic: General Items, http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php? name=News&file=print&sid=2554, and fund on 20th-Sep.-2007

Staying Safe on PEP Pills, spiritual high 2006 http://www.spiritualhigh.co.uk/information/drug-harm-minimisation-and-legal-highs/staying-safe-on-pep-pills/3-7-7-19, and fund on 29th-Sep.-2007

Bruce Russell PhD, Volume 33 Number 1, February 2006, Continuing Medical Education, Party pills – how little is known? http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/news/nzfp/Feb2006/Russell_Feb_06.pdf, and fund on 27th-Sep.-2007

by Bella Gale NZ Med J. 2005 Dec 16; 118(1227):U1784 – New Zealand Medical Journal report on people admitted to a hospital emergency department suffering toxic effects of ‘party pills’ mostly containing BZP, http://www.mookychick.co.uk /body/party_pills.php, and fund on 17th-Sep.-2007

Party pill bill passes first hurdle, Sep 12, 2007 10:46 AM, http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/425826/1342947, and fund on 27th-Sep.-2007

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