DEA Issues Final Order: Temporary Schedule 1 Classification for Three Synthetic Phenethylamines

On November 15, 2013, the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final order to temporarily schedule three synthetic phenethylamines into the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of 21 U.S.C. 811(h).  The three substances are 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe.  The order will be in effect for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one additional year, pending completion of the permanent or regular scheduling process.

“This action is based on a finding by the Deputy Administrator that the placement of these synthetic phenethylamines and their optical, positional, and geometric isomers, salts and salts of isomers in schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances will be imposed on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, dispense, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities, and possess), or propose to handle these synthetic phenethylamines.”

Synthetic phenethylamines are commonly packaged and marketed as “bath salts,” plant food and other ordinary household goods not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for human consumption.  When taken, the drugs stimulate the body’s central nervous system, and cause effects similar to those caused by cocaine and amphetamines.  Side effects can include but are not limited to increased heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, violent behavior, nausea and vomiting.



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