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What is the cannibal drug?

According to records, cannibalism was practiced during the 17th century. Today, eating human flesh or internal organs is not condoned or accepted. However, there exists a mind-altering recreational drug that is linked to cannibal attacks in European countries, the UK and the US. We tell you what is the cannibal drug all about.

Understanding the drug

Methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV for short- aka cannibal drug- is a chemical drug which has stimulant properties. Developed in the 1960s by Boehringer Ingelheim, it disappeared in the market till it founds its way in the illicit drugs trade.

  • How it acts

MDPV acts as a reuptake inhibitor or transporter blocker. It was originally developed to treat chronic fatigue and for anorectics or people who have no appetite. It acts as a stimulant and will produce effects similar to drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

  • Effects

People who are administered MDPV drugs will feel euphoria, enhanced levels of alertness, arousal and wakefulness as well as increased energy. The drug will stimulate the mind and concentration is rather sharp. It will also alter perception of food and sleep leading users to disregard these needs.

  • Linked side effects

Unfortunately, with the appearance of the drug in the black market, there have been reported side effects. The most disturbing is that users start biting people because the drug causes an elevated level of violence and aggression. Because of these extreme outcomes, MDPV is now often called the cannibal drug.

  • What is the cannibal drug?

Medications, narcotics and opiates can cause a lot of undesirable side effects, but the cannibal drug's aftermath is alarming. In several incidences, there were reports of users biting the face off people. The cannibal drug is linked to 99 deaths in several European countries since 2009, according to the 2014 EMCDDA report, as follows:

  • Finland - 40
  • UK - 32
  • Sweden - 21
  • Poland - 3
  • Austria and Norway – 1

Denial

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said there were no reported cases of cannibalism because no hard evidence supports the claim MDPV is the reason why users bite people. What is clear though is that the drug causes violence and aggression. Hence, unless thorough studies and research are undertaken to define what is the cannibal drug all about, law enforcement agencies are not going to acknowledge the claim and do something about it.

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