DEA Temporarily Adds 10 Synthetic Cathinones to Schedule I

They have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. This action is a precursor to permanent listing.

A notice issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's deputy administrator says the agency will temporarily schedule 10 synthetic cathinones into schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act. The 10 substances are: 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone ("4-MEC"); 4-methyl-alphapyrrolidinopropiophenone ("4-MePPP"); alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone ("α-PVP"); 1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)butan-1-one ("butylone"); 2-(methylamino)-1-phenylpentan-1-one ("pentedrone"); 1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)pentan-1-one ("pentylone"); 4-fluoro-N-methylcathinone ("4-FMC"); 3-fluoro-N-methylcathinone ("3-FMC"); 1-(naphthalen-2-yl)-2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pentan-1-one ("naphyrone"); and alpha-pyrrolidinobutiophenone ("α-PBP").

The action is based on a finding by the deputy administrator that placing these synthetic cathinones into schedule I is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, and it is a precursor to a permanent listing for them, according to the notice.

To make this finding, the deputy administrator is required to consider factors that include a substance's history and current pattern of abuse; the scope, duration, and significance of abuse; and what, if any, risk there is to the public health. Accordingly, the notice states that the deputy administrator has determined these 10 have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

These synthetic cathinone substances "are promoted as being a 'legal' alternative to cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA," it states, adding that they are "falsely marketed as 'research chemicals,' 'plant fertilizer,' 'jewelry cleaner,' 'stain remover,' 'plant food or fertilizer,' 'insect repellants,' or 'bath salts' and are sold at smoke shops, head shops, convenience stores, adult book stores, and gas stations, and can also be purchased on the Internet under a variety of product names."

Many U.S. states also regulate them; more than half of the states have emergency scheduled or enacted legislation placing regulatory controls on some of them, it states.

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