What is ‘Benzo Fury’?

One of the most prominently reported New Psychoactive Substances ( “Legal Highs”) in the UK over the last couple of years has been a drug called Benzo Fury. Products that are marketed under this brand name normally contain the chemical 6-APB or 5-APB.

6-APB is a drug that has a mild stimulating effect that is similar to drugs like Amphetamines (speed) and Ecstasy (MDMA). Users report that they the experience of sounds and colours are intensified when they take the drug. Negative effects of the drug can include confusion and panic attacks.

6-APB and it’s sister drug, 5-APB are classed together as benzofuran compounds, with Benzo Fury being the name they are most likely to be found being sold under. The name of the drug is derived from the benzofuran ring in the chemical structure. It should not be confused with benzodiazepines, which are minor tranquillisers.

What do Benzo Fury and other benzofuran compounds look like?

Benzo Fury has been available to buy in various forms:

  • as coloured tablets – these are often referred to as ‘pellets’
  • as a brown or white powder
  • as coloured capsules

The drug is normally swallowed or snorted in lines. When swallowed, it sometimes rolled up in a cigarette paper. This method of taking the drug is known as ‘bombing’.

What are benzofuran compounds?

This group of compounds are stimulants that can cause:

  • Short-lived feelings of warmth and affection for others
  • Dilated pupils, tingling feelings, increased blood pressure and other physical effects
  • Anxiety and maybe even panic attacks.
  • Confusion and paranoia
  • Increased body temperature which may cause overheating
  • Possible overdose and death.

Are benzofuran compounds illegal?

Benzo Fury and other benzofuran compounds fell, until recently, into the category of “legal highs”. However the UK government, in June 2014, made these types of drugs illegal following expert advice on the dangers of the compounds.

Benzofuran compounds are now classified as Class B drugs in the UK. This means that possession of benzofuran compounds carries the risk of a maximum stay in prison of five years. Supplying the drug for others to use carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

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