Drug A - Z

Party Pills

Party pills are psychoactive substances that were designed to mimic the effects of illegal drugs without the addictive qualities and known negative health risks of illegal drugs. They can stimulate the central nervous system and change the natural balance of chemicals in the brain by stimulating the production of serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin.


The effects of any drug vary from person to person.  It depends on many factors including an individual’s size, weight and health, how the drug is taken, how much is taken, whether the person is used to taking it, the person’s mood and whether other drugs are taken.  The effects also depend on the environment in which the drug is used – for example, whether the person is alone, with others, or in a social setting.

Immediate Effects

Depending on the dosage and the variety of pill(s) taken, the effects of these changes to your body can lead to:

  • euphoria, energy, alertness for up to six hours
  • aural and visual senses enhanced
  • stimulation of brain and central nervous system
  • increased or erratic heart rate and raised blood pressure
  • skin tingling, sweating, tremor, fever
  • clenching of teeth
  • rigid muscles
  • vomiting
  • reduced appetite
  • difficulty urinating
  • agitation, anxiety
  • insomnia
  • paranoia
  • water retention or dehydration, especially if the pills were used with alcohol
  • sore throat or nasal passages if snorting
  • significant hangover effects that can last up to 4 days
  • if being drug tested it gives a positive result for amphetamines

In greater quantities

  • hallucinations
  • convulsions
  • slowed breathing

Long-term effects

The longer term effects are not known yet but it is possible that over-use can lead to long term changes in the way the brain produces chemicals naturally.

With incorrect use, or large doses, these drugs can cause seizures, movement disorder, cardiac disorders, kidney and liver toxicity and hyperthermia (overheating).

Tolerance

With regular use, people can develop a tolerance to the active ingredients in party pills. This means they need to take more and more to get the same effect. It is believed that it was a growing tolerance that led some users to begin injecting.

Dependence

Due to the relatively recent (around 2000) introduction of party pills there is not as much research available as for other drugs. However, it is known that there is a risk of psychological dependence.

There is no known risk of physical dependence on party pills.

Party pills are often marketed as ‘herbal’ or as dietary supplements. These products are synthetically combined – they are not natural or herbal. Historically they were usually based on piperazines, most commonly BZP (benzylpiperazine) and TFMPP (triflouro-methyl-phenylpiperazine), and combined with other chemicals such as piper nigrum, phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine. Some pills include a combination of vitamins and minerals to reduce the hangover and coming down effects.

The pills can be taken orally, snorted or injected.

Like all drugs, party pills may have the potential to cause harm to the unborn child and also harm to the baby whilst breastfeeding. Due to this, it is recommended to not use any level of party pills during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding.

As of 1 April 2008 BZP, TFMPP, pFPP, MeOPP, mCPP and MBZP have been classified as a Class C1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making it illegal to import, export, sell, and have in your possession or to use anything containing these substances. The maximum penalty for importation/manufacture/supply is 8 years imprisonment on indictment or 1 year jail and $1,000 fine summarily, and for possession 3 months jail and/or a $500 fine.

It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug, including party pills. Breaking this law carries heavy penalties including disqualification from driving, fines and even imprisonment. It is advised that you do not drive after the consumption of any mood altering substance. You could put your own and other people’s lives at serious risk.