Increase in synthetic impurities in amphetamine samples

In 2023, a total of 273 samples declared as amphetamine were handed in for analysis at the Zurich Drug Information Center (DIZ) and during the mobile drug checks. 209 of these samples were submitted as part of the outpatient drug checks and 64 as part of the twelve mobile drug checks.

The detailed amphetamine evaluation 2023 can be found in the attached report. These are the most important findings from 2023:

- The amphetamine content of the samples submitted to the DIZ has remained relatively constant between 58 % and 65.5 % since 2018.

- The average amphetamine content increased by 2% to 65.5% compared to the previous year.

- However, it is striking that around 53% of the samples submitted are extremely potent with an amphetamine content of over 80 to 100%. At the same time, around 20% of the samples still have an active substance content of less than 20%.

- The most frequently occurring pharmacologically active extender in amphetamine samples is still caffeine (in 38.8 % of all samples).

- In 2023, 27.1 % (+2.2 %) of all samples contained at least one synthetic impurity.

- In 2023, there was a slight increase in synthetic impurities in amphetamine samples. In 2023, synthetic impurities were present in around a quarter of the amphetamine samples purchased on the black market. It was particularly striking that more samples with more than 3 synthetic impurities were analyzed again in 2023. However, it is still the case that when synthetic impurities are detected, it is often one to two synthetic impurities.

- The proportion of synthetic impurities in relation to the amphetamine content in amphetamine samples has changed noticeably. The proportion of samples with over 20 % synthetic impurities has risen to 15 % (+13 %). This may indicate improper production, which is mainly related to the fact that the substances are produced in illegal laboratories with very different quality standards and expertise. Another reason may be the possible time pressure that producers are under.

You can find more information about amphetamine on our website here.

The results published here are not representative of the substance market in the city of Zurich.


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