Increase in samples with a very high amphetamine content

In 2022, a total of 261 samples declared as amphetamine were handed in for analysis at the Drug Information Center (DIZ) Zurich and at the mobile drug checkings. 204 of these samples were analyzed as part of the stationary drug checking at the DIZ, and 57 samples were analyzed as part of the eleven mobile drug checkings conducted in the city of Zurich in 2022.

The detailed 2022 amphetamine evaluation can be found in the attached report. These are the main findings from 2022:

  • The amphetamine content of the samples submitted to the DIZ has remained relatively constant between 58% and 65% since 2018. However, it is striking that around 50% of the samples submitted are extremely potent with an amphetamine content of over 80% to 100%. In parallel, 20% of the samples still have an active substance content of less than 20%. These extreme fluctuations can pose a considerable overdose risk for users.
  • The most frequently detected psychoactive substances in amphetamine samples are still caffeine and synthetic impurities. It should be noted that many amphetamine users are accustomed to the rapid onset and strong effect of caffeine and often declare a caffeine-stretched sample to be "very strong" prior to analysis. Thus, there is a risk that users overdose when using pure amphetamine due to the more subtle and later onset effect of these samples.
  • In 2022, there was a slight decrease in synthetic impurities in amphetamine samples. Synthetic impurities were present in around a quarter of amphetamine samples purchased on the black market in 2022. It was particularly noticeable that significantly fewer samples with more than 4 synthetic impurities were analyzed in 2022. When synthetic impurities were detected, they were often one to two synthetic impurities.
  • In the last year, amphetamine and caffeine have been increasingly detected in pills. These pills carry logos similar to those known from MDMA pills. In the case of such a false declaration, there is a risk of subsequent dosing, since no MDMA effect sets in after consumption of these pills, and thus a high dose of amphetamine is ingested unintentionally.
  • Contrary to the widespread opinion among users, pastes do not indicate a particularly high quality of amphetamine.

In addition to the amphetamine evaluation 2022, a brief summary of the four substances most frequently tested in the DIZ can be found in the appendix. Further information on amphetamine can be found on our website here.


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