The Commission wants to ban the amphetamine-like drug 4-MA

The European Commission proposed an EU-wide ban on 4-methylamphetamine – or 4-MA, a synthetic substance with similar physical effects to amphetamines. According to the Commission, this drug has been associated with 21 deaths in four EU countries in 2010-2012 alone.

The European Commission called on EU Member States to prevent the 4-methylamphetamine – or 4-MA spreading freely across Europe by submitting it to control measures. The Commission also stressed that the 4-methylamphetamine – or 4-MA is already illegal in 10 EU countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom). In January 2012, European law enforcement authorities broke up a synthetic drugs network.

At least 21 fatalities have so far been reported in four Member States (Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) where 4-MA was detected in post-mortem samples, either alone or in combination with other substances, especially amphetamines. Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner highlighted that EU-wide action will help to stop it spreading and harming young people all over Europe.

This drug is a synthetic stimulant, whose effects are comparable to those produced by amphetamines. It is mostly produced in powder or paste form, but has also appeared in tablet and liquid form, often in mixtures containing amphetamine and caffeine. 4-MA is usually sold as amphetamine and therefore most users are unaware that they are consuming this substance.