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MDAI first became available online in 2009 as a legal alternative to MDMA. ‘Sparkle’ and ‘Sparkle Gold’ are examples of branded packaging claiming to contain MDAI. Reports of ‘Pink Panther’ pills containing MDAI are currently inconclusive, with some user’s reporting MDMA-like effects and others reporting mephedrone type effects.
MDAI is similar to MDMA but weaker and can make you feel a rush through your body and head, often experienced as a tingling sensation. It also increases your heart rate and blood pressure. People using it can experience a mild high, relaxation and increased enjoyment of music as well as stomach cramps, short term memory loss and problems sleeping.
It comes in a white or tan/brown powder with a crystalline look or in capsule form. The powder is often wrapped in cigarette paper and swallowed (bombed), ‘dabbed’ by finger, or diluted in orange juice which is said to minimise the bad taste. An average dose for swallowing will give around 10 bombs from a gram. These doses should not be taken as recommendations.
If you choose to use MDAI:
Use accurate scales to measure doses – don’t judge by eye!
Start with a small amount (a dab with your pinky) and wait at least an hour before re-dosing
Try to control the amount you take in one session
Try not to use alone and tell your friends what you have taken
Avoid snorting as this is not thought to be very effective and can be extremely unpleasant
Avoid mixing with other drugs and alcohol as negative effects are more likely
MDAI is covered by The Psychoactive Substances Act. It was introduced in the UK on the 26th May 2016 and it makes it an offence to manufacture, export/import (i.e. buying from a non-UK website), supply or offer to supply any psychoactive substance, if likely to be used for its psychoactive effects. Despite being psychoactive, alcohol, nicotine, tobacco and caffeine are exempt from the act.
Under the new regulations, possession with intent to supply is an offence. Possession is not an offence, except in a ‘custodial institution’ (e.g. prison, young offenders centre).
Penalties range from civil sanctions to a 7 year prison sentence but some offences will be considered to be aggravated, including selling to under 18s or around schools and children’s homes etc.
The Human Medicines Regulations (2012) and the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) including Temporary Class Drug Orders (TCDOs) will remain unchanged.
The police have increased powers to stop and search individuals and premises, and NPS may be treated like a controlled drug until proven otherwise.