A new class of illicit designer drugs called hallucinogenic amines, commonly taken as substitutes for club drugs like Ecstasy, are gaining popularity in Illinois.
Cases involving these new synthetic drugs, with alphanumeric names like 2CE, 2CI, 25i-NBOM3, have grown nationwide over the past 18 months. Here in Illinois, the IPC has recently received clusters of calls coming in from across the state regarding hallucinogenic amines.
The Illinois Poison Center has had 12 reports involving hallucinogenic amines so far in 2013. Because 2CE and other drugs like it are hard to differentiate from more well-known club drugs, it is likely that many of the calls we receive regarding Ecstasy involve patients who have actually taken 2CE or another hallucinogenic amines.
These drugs have structures closely related to drugs such as mescaline and other amphetamines that cause mind-altering effects similar to those of LSD. However, the effects of hallucinogenic amines can be far worse than those of more well-known club drugs.
· Hallucinations (some lasting more than 24 hours have been reported)
· Fast heart rate
· Increased blood pressure
· High fever (103-108°F)
· Severe toxicity can result in heart arrhythmias, kidney failure, coma and even death.
Since hallucinogenic amines like 2CE are relatively new to the abuse scene (especially in Illinois), little is known about their structure, dosage and potency. This exponentially increases the potential danger of ingesting these drugs because public safety officials, EMS professionals and health care providers don't fully understand their effects.