Easy to order online, cheap and legal. Due to this combination, the designer drug 3-MMC has become increasingly popular in recent years. But there is also a growing number of signals that 3-MMC is addictive and that users are getting into trouble. For the Cabinet today, that was reason to ban the drug. What exactly does 3-MMC do and how great are the problems that the drug causes?
3-MMC is short for 3-methylmethcathinone, a so-called new psychoactive substance. It‘s a means designed so that the net wasn’t illegal.
Users say that the action of 3-MMC is similar to that of cocaine and ecstasy. They become energetic and euphoric and need more contact. “You feel more confident, comfortable in your skin,” said 27-year-old Boaz (27) in the documentary series “Doothed “, which was broadcast last autumn.
Also ‘Milan’ became confident with the use of 3-MMC, he told OnCCEit Stories:
3-MMC entered the market after the related 4-MMC was banned in 2012. Because it is only used for a relatively short time, little research has been done, says the Trimbosinstituut.
The fact that the drug is banned in the Netherlands is based on the advice of the CAM, in which a large number of experts work together under the direction of RIVM to keep an eye on new drugs. The experts state in a risk assessment that 3-MMC is becoming more popular among young people and that there are also increasing reports of health problems. Thus, the number of users who end up in hospital due to the drug with symptoms of poisoning increases. However, for the time being, its use seems limited and is still highly regionally determined.
The CAM report states that the number of 3-MMC users seeking help with addiction care seems to be increasing. According to the researchers, the drug has an ‘addiction potentive’. The addiction seems to be not so much physical, but mainly spiritual. “We see a form of craving among users, that they are craving for it,” says Tom Bart of healthcare institution Jellinek, who was not involved in the CAM advice.
Ccry for help from Gelderse mayors
Particularly in the East of the Netherlands there are concerns about the increased popularity of 3-MMC. “Every day we are confronted with the disastrous consequences of these highly addictive legal drugs,” wrote 22 mayors from Gelderland last month to demissionary Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security. “For example, in our congregations there are cases where young people took their lives and where these drugs played a major role.”
They wrote in their fire letter that they were shocked that the introduction of a law to ban designer drugs has been postponed until next year. The enforcement of the law, which was announced two years ago, has not been earmarked in the current budget. To the horror of the mayors. “We call for emergency. The current situation costs lives.”
Spokesperson Bart van Jellinek understands that the drug is banned, but makes a comment on it. “We know from the past that a ban alone does not necessarily lead to a reduction in problems. So I hope that more will also be done on information and prevention.”
Dismissionary Secretary of State Blokhuis van Health, who announced the ban today, says that the Trimbosinstituut will, among other things, create a leaflet with information about 3-MMC. The ban on the designer drug is expected to start in the autumn.