E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders
Appendix 1: Reference Section
- 15 22nd report of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence 1985,
published by the World Health Organisation as part of its Technical Report
- #729, para 2.28 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, [cited in full]
- In mice, 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) increases locomotor
activities and produces analgesia. In dogs and monkeys the substance has
a pharmacological profile similar to that of other substances already controlled
under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. There are contradictory
reports of the hallucinogenic activity of this substance in man. The substance
is a potent serotonin-releaser in rat whole-brain synaptosomes. Its toxicological
properties have been studied extensively in animals. The acute toxicity
of this substance is about twice that of mescaline. No pharmacokinetic data
- 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine has discriminative stimulus effects
in common with amphetamine but not with 2,5-dimethoxy-4-dimethylbenzeneethanamine
(DOM). No data are available concerning its clinical abuse liability, nature
and magnitude of associated public health or social problems. The substance
is under national control in Canada and the United Kingdom and its control
has been proposed in the USA.
- The substance has no well-defined therapeutic use, but a number of clinicians
in the USA have claimed that it is potentially valuable as a psychotherapeutic
agent. No data are available concerning its lawful production. Evidence
of illicit trafficking in the substance has been reported from Canada and
there have been extensive seizures of the drug in the USA.
- On the basis of the data outlined above, it was the consensus of the
committee that 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine met the criteria of article
2, para 4, for the control under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Since there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the substance has
therapeutic usefulness, the expert committee recommended that it be placed
in Schedule 1 of the Convention*.
- It should be noted that the Expert Committee held extensive discussions
concerning therapeutic usefulness of 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
While the Expert Committee found the reports intriguing, it felt that the
studies lacked the appropriate methodological design necessary to ascertain
the reliability of the observations. There was, however, sufficient interest
expressed to recommend that investigations be encouraged to follow up these
preliminary findings. To that end, the Expert Committee urged countries
to use the provisions of article 7 of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances
to facilitate research on this interesting substance.
- *One member, Professor Paul Grof (Chairman), felt that the decision
on the recommendation should be deferred awaiting, in particular, the data
on the substance's potential therapeutic usefulness and that at this time
international control isnot warranted.
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