Otherwise known as a popularized NPS, New Psychoactive Substance, originated as a product known as “Benzo Fury,” which should not be confused with the class of medications called benzodiazepines. Benzo Fury also goes by its brand name, “Benzofuran,” a substance in the early 1990s that was a possible antidepressant and associated with a therapy type drug. Their chemical properties lend themselves to ecstasy and amphetamine.
Since 2014, the making and selling of Benzo Fury into any chemical compound have been made illegal as a Class B drugs. As addictive as cocaine, Benzo Fury is a highly popular synthetic club drug legal in the United States and can be easily purchased online. It is chemically similar to MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine), making them a powerful psychoactive drug.
Research has shown that Benzo Fury is more powerful, however, than MDMA and methamphetamine, making it a riskier drug. Also, their hallucinogenic properties are stronger than those of MDMA.
Benzo Fury started becoming very popular in Britain in 2010, and it was discontinued in 2014 as a research chemical not designed for human consumption while also being sold legally in the United States for several years. While various states have continued to restrict and ban its sale, it is still promoted at the federal level. It gets its name from the base chemical, benzofuran, used primarily for coal tar applications.
Users commonly report feelings of excitement, euphoria, empathy, stimulation and increased energy that come along with visual and auditory hallucinations. As both a stimulant and a hallucinogen, benzo fury effects can last up to 14 hours although the drug’s peak effects can occur anywhere between two to three hours. These effects can last up to 14 hours from the initial dose.
Benzo Fury side effects include:
Long-term effects of chronic abuse of Benzo Fury, even for a short duration of time, can result in damage to the body, which includes:
As a relatively new drug substance on the market being obtained illicitly on the market, research is still being conducted as to how it impacts the brain. But hallucinatory drugs like psilocybin mushrooms or LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) are not regarded as addictive while mixed effect drugs like MDMA and Benzo Fury are known for stimulating reward or pleasure centers in the brain, which can potentially lead to addiction.
Polydrug abuse can easily lead to physical dependence on drugs and overdose and being that Benzo Fury may be used in nightclubs, it could be consumed with alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs that are used in combination.
When you stop your intake of Benzo Fury, you will undergo a withdrawal process. The severity of withdrawal depends on how long Benzo Fury and other drugs were abused as well as the amounts used. Benzo fury withdrawal goes hand in hand with detoxification as the body’s way of returning to its baseline status to get rid of the toxins.
Because Benzo Fury has much more potent hallucinogenic properties than MDMA or ecstasy, withdrawal can be even harder, which necessitates going through a medically supervised detox to manage withdrawal symptoms.
First Phrase of Withdrawal: The “Comedown” Phase
This phase occurs between three to six hours after the drug stops, impacting the brain. The body discovers it can no longer satisfy its cravings for the drug, and as a result, you might start to experience unpredictable feelings. This stage is usually followed by a “high” phase, which is the other extreme side of the withdrawal stage. It is during the next three days following the “release” stage that your system starts ridding itself of the drug toxins.
Because withdrawal is different for each individual, there is no one general timeline of withdrawal. Some symptoms begin as soon as the substance loses its potency while others might last days and even weeks. Here’s a general timeline of what you might expect from start to finish:
Levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine drop when the Benzo Fury substance leaves your system, which jump-starts initial withdrawal symptoms, which can be more psychological than physical at first. Withdrawal symptoms include:
When your body finally releases itself of the drug and attempts to achieve baseline status, your symptoms will peak, which is usually between days 3 to 5. Your body and brain attempt to adjust to the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine so they can function well.
Depending on the dosage of how long you’ve been on the drug and the length of time, these symptoms may last for a few weeks or even a few months, but they will dissipate on their own.
During this weeklong phase, you might experience hallucinations in addition to muscle rigidity. Typically, you might experience a combination of psychological and physical effects, and while it can be difficult to manage the hallucinations, psychological symptoms are usually manageable. However, after the first 10 days or so, your symptoms should slowly dissipate.
Depression and other psychological symptoms might continue for months with the stage known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) which may not affect everyone, but if you’ve been on the drugs for an extended period, it is highly likely that this syndrome can affect you.
Detox and withdrawal become complicated and shaky when users mix Benzo Fury with other substances such as cocaine, ketamine, ephedrine, methamphetamine, dextromethorphan, and caffeine.
This is why a medically supervised detox for Benzo Fury withdrawal is necessary for breaking down and releasing the drug from your system, which can take up to several days while the withdrawal process can continue for weeks. The timeline for detox depends on the individual, but the body will start to break down the chemical compounds of the drug.
Usually, during detox, you will be slowly weaned off the drug, a process known as “tapering.” During this process, your dosage will be slowly reduced to minimize the onset and severity of withdrawal symptoms. You might be given additional medications to help you to manage withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxing in a clinic or addiction treatment facility ensures the best kind of medical care, especially if you have been consuming high doses of Benzo Fury for an extended time. Medical and mental health professionals will provide constant supervision to help you get through withdrawal with care and support.
Unfortunately, no medications on the market to date can help you withdraw completely from Benzo Fury, and researchers are still looking into the drug’s effects on the brain. However, there are comparable drugs on the market today, such as antidepressants, that can offset the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are frequent psychological withdrawal symptoms. This is where having a customized treatment plan with a medical practitioner that is grounded in results is crucial for your recovery treatment.
Nih.gov. . [online] Benzo fury: A new trend in the drug misuse scene. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30723925
EducationinChemistry. . Benzo Fury. from https://eic.rsc.org/soundbite/benzo-fury/2021230.article