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Expert Peer Review No. 1
Agenda Item 4.4: 3-MMC
Expert Committee on Drug Dependence
Thirty-eighth Meeting
Geneva, 14-18 November 2016
Expert Peer Review No.1 for 3-Methylmethcathinone (3-MMC)
1. Comments based on the review report
a. Evidence on dependence and abuse potential
There are no formal studies of the abuse or dependence potential of 3-MMC in either
animals or humans. However, there is evidence that the drug is widely used, at least
in some countries (among the most frequently used stimulant NPS in some instances).
Users report repeated dosing within a single session, including binge use in some
instances. There are also a number of people who have reported repeated use over
longer periods of time (greater than 40 lifetime occasions of use). These findings
demonstrate that the drug is actively sought by users and also that there is a desire on
the part of some people who try the drug to use it on multiple occasions. The relative
popularity of 3-MMC in at least some countries and the patterns of re-use are
indicative of abuse potential.
b. Risks to individual and society because of misuse
The evidence suggests that there are significant risks associated with use of 3-MMC.
There is evidence of hospitalizations arising from 3-MMC intoxication. While the
interpretation of many cases is complicated by the presence of other drugs, there were
4 analytically confirmed cases of 3-MMC alone leading to hospitalization. Deaths
have also occurred in which 3-MMC is likely to have played a significant role, but
there are no deaths solely attributable to 3-MMC.
Use of the drug has been associated with adverse effects on driving.
The types of effects produced by 3-MMC are consistent with those of other
cathinones, particularly the closely related 4-MMC (mephedrone) and
sympathomimetic drugs in general. Use of 3-MMC is therefore expected to produce a
range of medical and psychiatric consequences of both a short and long term nature.
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Expert Peer Review No. 1
Agenda Item 4.4: 3-MMC
c. Magnitude of the problem in countries (misuse, illicit production, smuggling etc)
There are multiple sources of evidence indicating that in at least some European
countries the levels of use are comparatively high, such that it is regarded as one of
the most commonly uses NPSs. There is also evidence of a high rate of internet
d. Need of the substance for medical (including veterinary) practice
Not used and unlikely to be used.
e. Need of the substance for other purposes (e.g. industrial)
Not used and unlikely to be used.
f. Measures taken by countries to curb misuse
3-MMC is a controlled substance in a number of countries and is likely to be covered
by generic/analogue legislation in a number of other countries.
g. Impact if this substance is scheduled
Scheduling will have no impact other than to potentially reduce the production,
distribution and use of the substance for non-medical purposes.
2. Are there absent data that would be determinative for scheduling?
While experimental data on abuse and/or dependence potential could provide some
assistance in scheduling, it is very unlikely that such information will ever be collected in
human studies. It is possible that animal studies may be conducted in the future that will
help determine abuse and/or dependence potential, but this is not certain.
While there are no experimental studies, there is a reasonable body of information from
reports of users that is relevant to this issue.
3. Other comments or opinions
4. Expert reviewer’s view on scheduling with rationale
It is recommended that 3-MMC should be included in Schedule II of the Convention on
Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Based on user reports, there is some evidence that 3MMC produces a state of dependence characterized by persistent drug-seeking behaviour
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Expert Peer Review No. 1
Agenda Item 4.4: 3-MMC
and preoccupation with obtaining and using the drug. It also produces CNS stimulation.
Should the Committee not consider the evidence on dependence to be sufficient, 3-MMC
has similar abuse and ill-effects as mephedrone (4-MMC), which is included in Schedule
II of the 1971 Convention.
With regard to the second criterion, there is evidence of widespread use of 3-MMC and of
adverse effects of the drug such that it constitutes a significant public health and social
The risk to public health is considered to be substantial, but not especially serious, and
therefore Schedule II is considered appropriate.
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