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[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 14][Reference 16]

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 Series
#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 are available.

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.

[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 14][Reference 16]
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