Naphyrone, a white crystalline powder often sold under brand names like NRG-1 and Energy1, is a stimulant drug with effects similar to recently controlled drugs like mephedrone. This drug is chemically related to pyrovalerone which used to be prescribed to treat lethargy and fatigue, but was discontinued because of concerns over potential for misuse. Pyrovalerone is already a Class C drug.
As with all the new drugs which have recently come onto the market, there are no figures for the numbers of users, although on the basis of internet search data, it seems that there has been a spike of interest in the drug since mephedrone was controlled.
Naphyrone has been selling online for about £12 – £15 a gram – and up to now marketed under false claims that it is ‘plant food’, ‘pond cleaner’ etc in order to circumvent various controls on medicines.
The drug is consumed either by sniffing the powder or swallowing it wrapped in a cigarette paper, a technique known as ‘bombing’.
Head shops and online legal high sellers often claim that naphyrone is the main ingredient in products labelled as NRG1 – one of the first ‘legal highs’ to be marketed as a ‘new legal alternative’ to mephedrone. However, separate tests of NRG1 products carried out by police, academics and drug user forums in summer 2010 found that the majority of NRG1 batches actually contained a series of recently banned Class B drugs including mephedrone and MDPV.