Benzo Fury: What Is It & Why Is It Dangerous?
In This Article
What is Benzo Fury (Benzofuran)?
Benzofuran is a synthetic drug consisting of the chemical compounds benzene and furan. Its effects are similar to both Ecstasy/MDMA and amphetamines.6 It is known for its combination of psychedelic and stimulant effects.
On the street, it is known as Benzo Fury. Other names for Benzo Fury include 5-APB, 6-APB, and White Pearl.13
Benzo Fury is a relatively new drug. Because of this, its dangers are not yet fully understood.
Possible risks from Benzo Fury use include psychosis, organ damage, and death from overdose.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of Benzo Fury.
What Does Benzo Fury Look Like?
Benzo Fury is usually sold in pill form, as variously colored tablets (“pellets”), or capsules. It can also be made into a brown or white-colored powder.
How Does Benzo Fury Make Users Feel?
People use Benzo Fury for the sense of euphoria and fellowship with others it provides. It’s often used as a party drug for this reason.
What are the Side Effects of Benzofuran?
Benzofuran is a psychomimetic drug. This means it mimics the symptoms of psychosis.3 Psychosis is a state of mind in which it is difficult to separate reality from fantasy.
Another prominent side effect of Benzofuran is hallucinations.
The duration of Benzofuran’s effects varies based on dosage and whether it is consumed with other drugs.
Short-Term Side Effects
Short-term side effects of Benzo Fury include:
- Heightened sensitivity to stimuli
- Increased empathy for others
- Increased heart rate
- Jaw clenching
- Boosted energy
- Dilated pupils
- Hyperthermia (increased body temperature)
- Increased blood pressure
Long-Term Side Effects
One of the biggest problems with Benzo Fury is that little research has gone into its long-term effects.
However, because of its structural similarities to Ecstasy and amphetamines, the long-term effects might be similar.6
Possible long-term effects of Benzo Fury use include:
- Sleep issues
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Cravings for the drug
- Inability to concentrate
- Panic attacks
What are the Risks of Benzofuran?
The most well-known risk of Benzo Fury is psychosis.
Other risks include dependence, organ damage, heart problems, and overdose.
Benzofuran is often used in settings where other drugs are freely available. Mixing drugs greatly increases their dangers.
Additionally, because it is synthetic, users cannot always know if it has been cut with something.
- Heart palpitations
- Delusional thinking
- Bruxism (teeth-grinding)
- Liver damage
- Cardiac arrest
- Rhabdomyolysis (heart and kidney damage)
- Memory issues
- Damage to teeth
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
- Hospitalization for psychosis
How Dangerous is Benzo Fury?
Possible dangers of Benzo Fury include dependence, organ damage, damage to mental health, and death from overdose.
Benzo Fury is most likely to be found at raves, nightclubs, and music festivals. It is also likely to be mixed with other drugs like alcohol or cocaine. Mixing drugs together can intensify the effects and risks.
Benzo Fury’s hallucinogenic properties might lead to repeat usage. This could lead users to develop dependency.
Can Users Overdose on Benzofuran?
Overdose on Benzofuran is possible and potentially fatal. Deaths from Benzofuran overdoses have been reported in the UK and California.1, 4, 10
Is Benzo Fury Legal?
Benzo Fury has been explicitly banned in the UK since 2014. However, its legal status in the United States is unclear.
Although it has been prohibited in several states, there is no federal law that explicitly bans it.5, 12
This is because drugs like Benzo Fury are known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). These are drugs specifically designed to sidestep drug laws.15
An NPS is designed in laboratories to mimic the effects of illegal drugs by using legal chemical compounds. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as “legal highs.”
Aside from using legal chemicals, NPS drugs are marketed to avoid law enforcement. They are advertised as “research chemicals” and “not fit for human consumption.”
NPS drugs are openly sold at physical establishments like smoke shops and gas stations. They are also widely sold online for cryptocurrency.14
Benzo Fury might be illegal under the Federal Analogue Act (FAA).7 The FAA is a statute under the Controlled Substances Act that bans substances that seek to emulate illegal drugs' qualities.
Benzofuran is a phenylethylamine analogue. Phenylethylamine is a naturally occurring Central Nervous System stimulant (an example here would be mescaline).
The Drug Enforcement Agency considers phenylethylamine analogs to be “designer drugs of concern,” and possibly enforceable under the FAA.11
Is Benzo Fury Addictive?
Benzo Fury’s potential for addiction is not totally understood. Benzo Fury possibly creates psychological dependence because it increases dopamine levels in the brain.2
It is unclear if Benzo Fury is physically addictive. It is structurally similar to amphetamines, which are physically addictive. Its hallucinogenic properties could incentivize repeat use, leading to physical dependence.
If you suspect you or a loved one is addicted to Benzo Fury, speak with a specialist today.
What are the Symptoms of Benzo Fury Addiction?
There is more evidence at this time that Benzo Fury addiction is psychological than physical.2
People who are psychologically addicted to a drug experience cravings. They become irritated or anxious when separated from it.
Someone addicted to Benzo Fury may become obsessed with it and unable to concentrate on anything else. They may use the drug repeatedly for its hallucinogenic and euphoric effects.
Benzofuran Detox: Withdrawal Symptoms & Timeline
Withdrawal symptoms for Benzo Fury addiction may appear between an hour to several days after the last dose.
Possible symptoms include:
- Mood Swings
If necessary, some detox clinics have medications available to manage cravings and detox symptoms.
In the case of Benzo Fury, these might include sleep aids and antidepressants.
Treatment Options for Benzo Fury Addiction
There are no treatments specifically for Benzo Fury addiction.
But the consensus when it comes to addiction treatment is that a multi-pronged approach works best. This involves both therapy and medication to manage cravings.
Popular therapies for substance use include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, and the “Twelve-Step” method.
These therapies all seek to address the underlying causes of impulsive behaviors behind drug addiction.
Usually, these are tied to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.8
Therapy can be either in-patient or out-patient treatment. In-patient therapy involves the patient checking into a rehab center. Out-patient therapy can be received at home.
Because Benzo Fury addiction is likely more psychological than physical, most people can receive outpatient therapy. However, they will most likely need to be supervised because Benzo Fury can cause psychological breaks in extreme cases.
Call to find out how much your insurance will cover
- BBC News. “Banned 'legal high' Benzo Fury linked to Sale woman's death.” www.bbc.com, 2013.
- Cha, Hye Jin, et al. “5-(2-Aminopropyl)benzofuran and phenazepam demonstrate the possibility of dependence by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 149, 2016, pp. 17-22. www.sciencedirect.com.
- Chan, Wui Ling, et al. “Acute Psychosis Associated with Recreational Use of Benzofuran 6-(2-Aminopropyl)Benzofuran (6-APB) and Cannabis.” Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, vol. 9, no. 3, 2013, pp. 278-81. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
- The Guardian. “Teenager dies at RockNess music festival in Scotland.” www.theguardian.com, 2012.
- Illinois General Assembly. “Illinois Controlled Substances Act.” ilga.gov.
- Lonkhuyzen, Johanna J Nugteren-van. “Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicology of new psychoactive substances (NPS): 2C-B, 4-fluoroamphetamine and benzofurans.” Drug and alcohol dependence, vol. 157, 2015, pp. 18-27. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
- Muniz, Yandiel. “Designer Drugs and the Federal Analog Act.” law.fiu.edu, 2017.
- National Institute of Mental Health. “Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders.” www.nimh.nih.gov/.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The science behind designer drugs.” archives.drugabuse.gov, 2015.
- Perry, Tony. “UCSD student dies of drug overdose after on-campus music festival.” www.latimes.com, 2014.
- Rannazzisi, Joseph T. “Dangerous Synthetic Drugs.” www.dea.gov, 2013.
- Reinlie, Lauren Sage. “Attorney General bans more synthetic drugs.” www.nwfdailynews.com, 2012.
- talktofrank.com. “Benzofuran compounds.” www.talktofrank.com.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “What are NPS?” www.unodc.org.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “World Drug Report.” www.unodc.org, 2021.