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2C-E: What is it?

Authorities say the drug responsible for a mass drug overdose in Blaine that killed a 19-year-old father is 2C-E, a synthetic party drug known more commonly as Europa.

Before yesterday, the average Minnesotan had probably never heard of it.

But the 2C chemical family was developed in the 1970s and '80s by Alexander Shulgin, a psychopharmacologist known for popularizing Ecstasy.

It has never been blamed as a cause of death--before yesterday.

In his book, PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story, Shulgin summarizes his own experience with Europa at different doses. Here's what 16 mg felt like:

There was a strange devil-angel pairing. As I was being told of the ecstatic white-light ascent of my partner into the God-space of an out-of-body experience, I was fighting my way out of a brown ooze...For me it was the 4th of July, rather than Easter!

Europa became popular in the United States around the early to mid-2000s, mostly as a club or party drug. It comes in pill and powder forms, and is usually swallowed, though some choose to snort it. The total duration of the trip can last up to 12 hours, but is usually more like 6 to 9.

Though many of its cousin drugs have been criminalized--such as 2C-B and 2C-T-7--Europa is legal in the U.S., and can be bought online as a "research chemical."

It is illegal in a number of other countries, including New Zealand, Japan, and Denmark. In 2002, the United Kingdom classified Europa as a Class-A illegal substance.

Here's another personal account, via Erowid:

And yes, it was impressively visual. I was more impressed with the non-aesthetic effects of 2C-E, but even still the visuals are nothing that can be dismissed. I had very thick lasting trails, it didn't seem all "multiples frames", if I moved my arm trough the air it would seem as though my hand were leaving solid impressions of itself behind.

Not all experiences are so positive, however. Other accounts detail extreme paranoia, fear, and unwanted epiphanies. Europa can also cause physical sickness.

In Minnesota, law enforcement agents say they don't have much (if any) experience with 2C-E specifically, but there seems to be a rise in similar synthetic, legal drugs.

"These analog type drugs are kind of becoming more and more of a problem," says Anoka County Sheriff commander Paul Sommer, whose department is handling the case in Blaine. "We haven't specifically dealt with anything of this magnitude."

Continuing Coverage of 2C-E

* One dead, 10 hospitalized in mass drug overdose in Blaine

* Trevor Robinson, 19, dead from 2C-E overdose

* 2C-E: What is it?


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