Legal Status of AMT in the United States
STATUS AS OF APRIL 7, 2004: The DEA has recently filed two documents with the Federal Register. The first extends the temporary scheduling until October of 2004. The second is an announcement that AMT and 5-MeO-DMT will be placed permanently on Schedule I.
On January 28, 2003, the DEA announced that they will be placing alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT), as well as 5-methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine (5-MeO-DiPT) into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act via the emergency scheduling procedure. This emergency scheduling comes into effect on February 28, 2003, 30 days after the notice of intent was issued, and lasts for one year. The Attorney General may extend this period by six months.
The DEA stated that these substances represent an immediate threat to public health. Based on their previous publications regarding these substances, this perceived threat most likely comes from these substances being sold at raves or other events for human consumption. Prior to scheduling, individuals caught selling AMT or 5-MeO-DiPT at events could still be prosecuted under the analog statute of the CSA. AMT is a relatively safe substance in the sense that it is difficult to overdose on. Dosages can be accurately measured by any decent scale or balance with 10mg accuracy. Had it not been so popular in the black market, the DEA would have probably ignored it.
Below are a few excerpts from the DEA's Notice of Intent to Schedule Alpha-methyltryptamine and 5-methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine
The chemical structures of AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT possess the critical
features necessary for hallucinogenic/stimulant activity. Thus, both
AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT are likely to have a pharmacological profile
substantially similar to other Schedule I tryptamine derivatives such
as DMT and AET. In drug discrimination studies, both AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT
substitute for 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)-aminopropane (DOM), a
phenethylamine-based hallucinogen in Schedule I of the CSA. The
potencies of DOM-like discriminative stimulus effects of these and
several other similar tryptamine derivatives correlate well with their
hallucinogenic potencies in humans (Glennon et al., Eur. J. Pharmacol.
AMT shares other pharmacological properties with Schedule I
hallucinogens such as AET. AMT increases systolic and diastolic
arterial blood pressures. The behavioral effects of orally administered
AMT (20 mg) in humans are slow in onset, occurring after 3 to 4 hours
and gradually subside after 12 to 24 hours, but may last up to 2 days
in some subjects. The majority of the subjects report nervous tension,
irritability, restlessness, inability to sleep, blurry vision,
mydriasis and equate the effects of a 20 mg dose to those of 50
micrograms of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) (Hollister et al., J.
Nervous Ment. Dis., 131: 428-434, 1960; Murphree et al., Clin.
Pharmacol. Ther., 2: 722-726, 1961). AMT also produces hallucinations
and dextroamphetamine-like mood elevating effects.
According to forensic laboratory data, the first encounter of AMT
and 5-MeO-DIPT occurred in 1999. Since then, law enforcement officials in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois,
Iowa, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and
the District or Columbia have encountered these substances. According
to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the abuse by teens
and young adults of AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT is an emerging problem. There
have been reports of abuse of AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT at clubs and raves in
Arizona, California, Florida and New York. Many tryptamine-based
substances are illicitly available from United States and foreign
chemical companies and from individuals through the Internet. A gram of
AMT or 5-MeO-DIPT as bulk powder costs less than $150 from illicit
sources on the Internet. DEA is not aware of any legitimate medical or
scientific use of AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT. There is recent evidence
suggesting the attempted clandestine production of AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT
in Nevada, Virginia and Washington, DC.
AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT share substantial chemical and pharmacological
similarities with other Schedule I tryptamine-based hallucinogens in
Schedule I of the CSA (AET and DMT). This makes it likely that these
drugs cause similar health hazards. Tryptamine, the parent molecule of
AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT, is known to produce convulsions and death in
animals (Tedeschi et al., J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 126:223-232, 1959).
AMT and 5-MeO-DIPT, similar to other tryptaine- or phenethylamine-based
hallucinogens, through the alteration of sensory perception and
judgment can pose serious health risks to the user and the general
public. Further, there have been several self-reports on Internet
websites describing the reported abuse of these substances in
combination with other controlled drugs, namely MDMA, marijuana, gamma
hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-(n)-
propylthiophenethylamine (2C-T-7). This practice of drug abuse
involving combinations poses additional health risks to the users and
the general public. Available information indicates that AMT and 5-MeO-
DIPT lack any approved therapeutic use in the United States. The safety
of these substances for use in humans has not been studied.
It is considered a public health threat because it is being sold on the black market as a recreational substance, often as something else. a-MT is unique; it is an MAOI which means that it will cause adverse reactions when mixed with other recreational drugs that people often take with psychedelics. These include caffeine, amphetamines, alcohol, and and a whole slew of other drugs. Reactions when taken with antidepressant drugs are likely to be very severe. a-MT also increases sensitivity to other substances as well, making an overdose more likely. It would be extremely dangerous for someone unfamiliar with its pharmacology to take the drug.
The full publication can be found here:
Here is a document published by the DEA about the emergence of 5-MeO-DIPT and AMT abuse: