'Due to its stimulant properties, risk to health and lack of medical benefits, there is a need to control BZP' but 'control measures should be appropriate to the relatively low risks of the substance'. These were among the conclusions of the recent risk-assessment exercise carried out by the EMCDDA Scientific Committee with additional experts from the European Commission, Europol and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) (1).
The final risk-assessment report was submitted to the European Commission and the Council on 4 June concluding the second phase of a three-step legal procedure (information exchange, risk assessment and decision-making) designed to respond to potentially threatening new psychoactive drugs in the EU (2).
In line with this procedure, the European Commission had six weeks from receiving the report to decide whether or not to present an initiative to the Council recommending it to subject BZP to control measures and criminal sanctions throughout the EU. On 17 July, the Commission duly presented such an initiative. The Council is expected to take its final decision on whether or not to subject the drug to control measures in the EU after the summer.
BZP is a psychoactive drug belonging to the group of aryl-substituted piperazines which includes substances such as mCPP and TFMPP.
(1) See Drugnet Europe No 58.
(2) See description at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/?nnodeID=17869
Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.