Caffeine : an Adulterant in Illicit Methamphetamine

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Veeravan Lekskulchai


Caffeine has some central nervous system (CNS) stimulating effects similar to methamphetamine. It is often found in methamphetamine as a main adulterant. Caffeine deprivation can cause withdrawal syndromes in habitual caffeine consumers, which contributes to maintenance of caffeine consumption. However, tolerance to its effects has not been reported. Caffeine could not be classified as a substance of abuse under the standard DSM criteria. However, it is listed as a doping substance because of its misusing in athletes for improving endurance. Ephedrine is the other main adulterant often found in street amphetamine and methamphetamine. It could be the left over precursor during methamphetamine synthesis. Unlike ephedrine, caffeine is not a precursor for methamphetamine synthesis. Caffeine found in methamphetamine, thus, comes from intentionally adding during the process of synthesis or packing in order to cut the cost.

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