2C-B is a psychoactive substance belonging to the phenethylamine class of drugs. It was first synthesized in 1974 and became popular as a legal substitute for MDMA in the 1980s. It is similar to the hallucinogen mescaline but also has stimulating effects. 2C-B intoxication can be dangerous, and although there are no reports so far of 2C-B causing deaths, there are reports of 2C-B having long term side effects.
Symptoms of 2C-B Abuse
2C-B produces hallucinogenic effects like LSD as well as stimulating effects like MDMA. The symptoms of 2C-B abuse vary depending on the dose with a very small increase in dose producing vastly different effects. For many people who use it, 2C-B produces euphoric effects and pleasant hallucinations at low doses, but unpleasant physical symptoms and frightening hallucinations can occur at higher doses.
Physical Symptoms of 2C-B
The effects of 2C-B are dose-dependent and may also vary from person-to-person. Physical symptoms at higher doses include:
- Tachycardia or increased heart rate
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting
- Muscle twitches and occasionally body tremors
- Dilated pupils
- Severe headaches
- Facial flushes
- Excessive sweating
Psychological Symptoms of 2C-B
Psychological symptoms include hallucinations and increased arousal with symptoms varying according to the dose used.
At low doses, psychological symptoms include:
- Mild hallucinations — auditory, visual, tactile
- Elevated mood
- Entactogenic effects
At higher doses, psychological symptoms include:
- Frightening hallucinations
- Morbid delusions
- Anxiety, fear, and panic
- Reduced consciousness
Other 2C-B Drug Side Effects
2C-B can adversely affect attention span and visuospatial abilities and can impair the ability of an individual to drive or operate machinery. 2C-B use is associated with rave parties and thus, is a cause for concern from a road safety perspective. 2C-B can have adverse effects when used with other substances such as cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, and alcohol. 2C-B can also interact with antidepressant drugs like monoamine oxidase inhibitors to produce adverse effects.
Intoxication with substances from the 2C family of drugs can result in excited delirium, which involves delirium along with violence, agitation, hypertension, and hyperthermia. Although there are no reports of death associated with 2C-B use, excited delirium can result in sudden cardiopulmonary arrest and cause death. There are, however, instances of a single dose of 2C-B leading to long-term adverse consequences. A single dose of 2C-B could result in permanent neurological damage along with damage to blood vessels in the brain (cerebrovasculopathy). 2C-B intoxication can also result in persistent psychosis or unresponsiveness and seizures.
2C-B Long-Term Side Effects
There is very little research on the long-term effects of 2C-B use. 2C-B has a low potential for addiction and only anecdotal evidence exists regarding long-term use. There is some anecdotal evidence that regular use may result in fatigue, disorientation and an increase in anxiety. Long-term abuse may result in acute symptoms becoming more noticeable.
Signs of 2C-B Addiction
2C-B is considered to have a low potential for addiction like other substances such as mescaline that act on the neurotransmitter serotonin. On the other hand, drugs that produce effects by their action on the neurotransmitter dopamine have more addictive qualities. 2C-B, besides having hallucinogenic properties, also has stimulating effects like MDMA that may be mediated through the effects on dopamine. Thus, 2C-B’s potential to cause addiction cannot be ruled out. Besides signs associated with regular use such as fatigue, disorientation and an increase in anxiety, people who use 2C-B may also exhibit the various symptoms of intoxication, such as agitation, gastrointestinal symptoms, hyperthermia, tachycardia, etc.
2C-B Addiction Intervention
There is an absence of scientific research on the effects of long-term use of 2C-B and 2C-B drug addiction. There are no scientifically tested treatment plans for addressing 2C-B addiction, but the general guidelines laid out by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), may be followed. Intervention may include medications, behavioral therapy, management of withdrawal symptoms, monitoring for relapse and treatment of co-occurring substance abuse problems or mood disorders.
Withdrawal and Detox
There is an absence of scientific research regarding 2C-B addiction and withdrawal. 2C-B is considered to have a low potential for abuse similar to other hallucinogens. In the case of 2C-B addiction treatment, there is no evidence to suggest whether it is optimal to quit 2C-B cold turkey or gradually. However, quitting 2C-B gradually may be advisable if the drug has been used for a long duration. This is because long-term use can result in drug dependence, with a certain dose of the substance required for the body to function normally. Quitting suddenly may result in severe adverse effects, so consulting with a medical professional can help you or a loved one detox safely. Although there are no established guidelines for the treatment of 2C-B addiction, an evidence-based approach for the treatment of addictions, in general, may be necessary for detoxification.
If you or a loved one suffers from 2C-B addiction or other substance abuse problems, The Recovery Village can help. The Recovery Village is a drug rehabilitation center that specializes in the treatment of substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mood disorders. Call today to learn more about treatment options.
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Nugteren-van Lonkhuyzen, Johanna; van Riel Antoinette; Brunt. Tibor, Hondebrink, Laura. “Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicology of new psychoactive substances (NPS): 2C-B, 4-fluoroamphetamine and benzofurans.” Drug and alcohol dependence, December 2015. Accessed June 13, 2019.
Vang Dean, Be; Stellpflug, Stellpflug; Burnett, Aaron M; Engebretsen, Kristin. “2C or not 2C: phenethylamine designer drug review.” Journal of Medical Toxicology, June 2013. Accessed June 11, 2019.
National Institute of Drug Abuse. “Addiction treatment.” June 2014. Accessed June 11, 2019.
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