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ABCs of BZP

What is it?
Benzylpiperazine (BZP) is a synthetic compound derived from piperazine, found in black pepper.

How does it work?
The substance targets the nervous system, releasing hormones that increase heart rate, blood flow and produce a “fight or flight” response.

What does it do?
BZP causes feelings of euphoria, alertness and well-being.

How is it taken?
The typical dose of 100mg can be taken via gel capsules, powders or pressed pills with effects lasting from six to eight hours.

What are the side effects?
Most common side effects are mild to severe hangover as the drug wears off. Adverse reactions include anxiety, insomnia, confusion, poor appetite, hot and cold flashes, nausea, tremors, palpitations and collapse. BZP has been linked to cases of seizure, renal failure and acute psychosis in some studies. Mixing BZP with other drugs, including alcohol, may increase risk of negative effects.

Is it addictive?
Studies on the effects of BZP in animals suggest it is addictive but reports from New Zealand show low rates of habit formation. Users claim hangover effect makes it difficult to take regularly.

Is it legal?
BZP is a banned substance in the US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and some parts of Europe. It is currently unregulated in Canada, which means it is not controlled under the Food and Drug Act or the Controlled Substances and Drugs Act.