The tragic death of Louella Fletcher-Michie – believed to be the first person in the world to die after taking 2C-P – has cast the media spotlight on 2C drugs. Louella died at Bestival in September 2018, an hour before her 25th birthday. In February 2019, Louella’s boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, was found guilty of her manslaughter. He supplied the psychedelic drug to her and didn’t seek help when she became unwell.
With so little public awareness about 2C drugs – including the risks of addiction, overdose and death – what can be done to support users and their families? In this blog, we’ll look at the known effects and risks of 2C psychedelic drugs including 2C-P. We’ll also explain what friends and family can look out for, to spot the signs of drug addiction in a loved one. If you’re a 2C drug user and you want help to stop, please call Addiction Helper to talk about treatment options.
What Are 2C Drugs – The Effects and the Risks of Drugs Like 2C-P?
2C drugs are a set of hallucinogenic drugs, which can also act as stimulants when ingested. They are chemical compounds called phenethylamines, and there are dozens of variants. To date, the most commonly used forms include 2C-P, 2C-I, 2C-B, 2C-E and 2C-T. They usually come in pill or powder form. Users snort, smoke or swallow 2C drugs.
The effects range from euphoria to hallucinations, feeling alert, highly charged or agitated. They can increase blood pressure, raise body temperature and speed up the heart rate. Comparisons have been drawn between the effects of 2C drugs and those of ecstasy and LSD.
As with all drugs, the higher the dose, the stronger the effects are likely to be. How soon the effects kick in and how long they last for vary greatly. Mixing 2C drugs with other substances including alcohol increases the risks of harm.
Not much is currently known about the addictive potential of 2C drugs, due to a lack of research studies. However, any drug that significantly alters consciousness and mood can become psychologically addictive at the very least. Additionally, 2C drug users risk mental health problems such as paranoia, depression or psychotic episodes.
There are many reports worldwide of people being hospitalised after taking 2C drugs. Speaking at Winchester Crown Court in February 2019, Forensic Pathologist Dr Russell Delaney highlighted hospitalisations related to 2C-P in America, where patients have needed resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator to save their lives.
In Ireland in 2016, 18-year-old Alex Ryan overdosed on 2C-I (also known as N-bomb). He had a cardiac arrest after taking the drug at a house party in Cork. He died from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – or global brain damage – caused by his cardiac arrest.
Signs of Drug Addiction to 2C Drugs and Other Substances
After all the media coverage of Louella Fletcher-Michie’s death, many parents may be anxious about 2C drug use. Most won’t have heard of the drug before this tragic case, let alone be aware of the effects and risks of drugs like 2C-P.
Furthermore, most teenagers and young adults will take drugs out of sight of their parents – so it’s impossible for most mothers and fathers to monitor whether their children are physically taking drugs.
Occasional use of drugs including 2C-P can be almost impossible for parents to spot because there may not significant changes in behaviour or appearance. Parents might easily mistake drug withdrawal for a bad hangover or put it down to illness or a phase.
In terms of drug addiction, however, there are usually more obvious signs or patterns of behaviour. Usually, the most telling symptoms occur when people aren’t using drugs, or they’re prevented from using when they’re craving drugs. Early signs of drug dependence can include mild depression, mood swings, difficulty sleeping or waking up, persistent tiredness or hyperactivity. Untreated, addiction can progress to the point where it affects every area of life – health, relationships, education, employment, housing, aspirations and more. Read more about drug abuse and addiction in teenagers.
Do You Want to Stop Using 2C-P or Other 2C Drugs?
If you’re taking 2C drugs and you’re worried about your usage, the Addiction Helper team provides a confidential assessment and advice on treatment. We’ve helped over 10,000 people find their way into addiction treatment – including detox and rehab programmes.
Equally, if you suspect or know your son or daughter is addicted to drugs, please don’t hesitate to call Addiction Helper for advice on treatment. It’s not essential for you to know which drugs they are using or how much they use – we can advise on the best sources of help, including addiction interventions, residential treatment and outpatient programmes.