2CE Drug Uses, Health Risks, Effects, Interaction with Other Drugs & Addiction Treatment
2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenethylamine [2CE or 2C-E, or 2-(4-ethyl-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine] is colloquially known as “Aquarust,” “Eternity,” “Europe,” and “Hummingbird”. Synthesized in 1977 by Alexander Shulgin it is one of the most potent 2C-compounds. 2C-E is structurally very closely related to other 2C-s and to other well-studied phenethylamine substitutes such as mescaline and MDMA (ecstasy).
It first came out the club scene in the mid-1980s as a quick replacement for MDMA which had been banned in the United States. 2C-E then remerged on the psychedelic scene and lately has been present as part of the NPS phenomenon. In fact, 2C-E has been documented as being contained in pills sold as ecstasy in America and Europe, and more recently in Colombia and other Latin American countries, where it is considered an NPS due to its new presence on the drug market.
2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenethylamine (2CE) is psychedelic phenylethylamine, with a chemical structure similar to mescaline, used as a new psychoactive substance (NPS). It inhibits norepinephrine and serotonin uptake and, more relevant, acts as a partial agonist of the serotonin 2A (5-HT2A), 2B (5-HT2B), and (5-HT2C) receptors. Consumers have reported that 2C-E induces mild-moderate psychedelic effects.
Classical psychedelics (serotonergic psychedelics) have traditionally been defined as a class of psychoactive substances that induce in humans a wide range of complex physiological, behavioral and psychological effects through serotonin 5-HT2A receptors stimulation. In the past few years, however, phenethylamine psychedelics have emerged as a class of new psychoactive substances (NPS) able to induce similar effects to those of controlled psychedelic substances. 
How Do People Take It?
The first description of 2CE effects was published in PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story, which considered the drug to be one of the “magical half-dozen” or more intense psychedelic phenethylamines. In recent years, 2CE recreational users have reported its effects as being a combination of hallucinogenic and stimulating ones, like those of ecstasy and LSD. Like other psychedelics drugs and 2C compounds, 2CE at low doses usually produces stimulant effects and increased auditory, visual and tactile sensations. At moderate doses, it leads to mild hallucinations, and at high ones can cause the user to experience unpleasant hallucinations and sympathomimetic effects. In general, effects from 2C-E are reportedly more intense in comparison to 2C-B.
An average dose of 2CE ranges from 10 to 20 mg (medium dose 15–25 mg, high dose 25–40 mg) although exceptionally elevated doses up to 100 mg have been reported. Recommendations for an initial dose are between 6 and 20 mg depending on the user’s previous experience with similar drugs, whilst 3 mg is considered a “microdose” which produces intense effects on cognitive processes and well-being without the typical ones on consciousness. As with most psychedelics, the effects of 2CE are long-acting, lasting typically for 6–12 h, depending on the dose and individual.
To date, a dozen cases of acute intoxication (tachycardia, hypertension, agitation, delirium, and hallucinations) have been reported and, although very rare, some deaths have been linked to 2CE. Alarmingly, no human research has been conducted with 2CE in spite of the relatively long history of its recreational use and the recent resurgence of interest in psychedelic drugs. 
How Do People Use 2CE?
The 2C drugs can be snorted, swallowed, or smoked. Drugs in the 2C family usually come in the form of capsules or tablets that are swallowed or a powder form that is snorted. They may also come in liquid form.
Typical doses of 2C drugs usually range from 10 to 30 milligrams. The effects of 2CE typically last for eight to 12 hours, but some 2C drugs can last for 24 hours or longer. Snorting the drugs causes a more rapid onset of effects than swallowing them does.
Occasionally, people mix 2C drugs with other hallucinogens. The combination of 2C-B and LSD is known as a banana split while mixing 2C-B and MDMA is called a party pack. Some people mistakenly take 2C drugs thinking they are using molly or ecstasy. Dealers may not even know what they are peddling.
Most of the new designer drugs have psychedelic properties, although many have mixed features of psychedelics and other drug classes such as stimulants or amphetamines. They are dangerous for users who don’t know what they’re getting — or getting into. And it’s casting a pall over the renaissance of scientific research into legitimate uses for psychedelic drugs.
In the 1960s and 1970s, people seeking psychedelic experiences usually took LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), or mescaline (peyote). These drugs are potent hallucinogens. For people genetically predisposed to mental illness, or those who take the drugs in an unsafe setting, this is quite dangerous. But these drugs are not directly toxic, even at high doses. Drugs like 2CE have effects on the serotonin receptors in the brain, but also in the blood vessels and elsewhere. So if you take a truly large dose, which is easy to do, you can have your blood vessels contract, your heart rate go way up, and your temperature regulation may go out of control. 
What Does It Look Like?
2C drugs are normally sold as pills or powders, but this can vary. For example, 2CB and 2CT-7 have been sold as white powders or small 5mg pills. 2C drugs can be in a form of:
- A small pill
- A powder, usually white but not always
- A liquid, but this is rare
A liquid form of 2CI has been reported, but this is rare. Users say that 2Cs can give a burning sensation and be painful to snort.
Effects Of 2CE
In low doses, 2CE can act as a stimulant, causing feelings of alertness and intensifying a person’s senses. In higher doses, usually greater than 10 milligrams, the drug has significant hallucinogenic effects. The hallucinogenic effects of 2CE are similar to an acid trip. The drug may cause an individual’s surroundings to seem distorted, or the person may see or hear things that don’t exist. The drug can also cause sexual arousal and hypersensitivity.
Because 2CE and other 2C drugs are also central nervous system stimulants, they can cause an array of unpleasant and potentially life-threatening health effects. According to a 2013 report in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, at least five deaths in the medical literature have been attributed to 2C drugs. 
Most of the patients who died exhibited signs of excited delirium, which is characterized by agitation, hyperactivity, and aggression. These effects were followed by a rise in body temperature, cardiac arrest, and sudden death.
Is It Dangerous To Mix With Other Drugs?
When it comes to club drugs, polydrug use (taking multiple drugs at once) is very common, so it’s unlikely that a 2C drug alone is the problem. Combining stimulants with psychedelics is always a danger due to the fact that the anxiety and agitation that can be caused by stimulants can create or fuel “bad trips” in which the user of a psychedelic starts to see or hear things that are unpleasant, frightening, or enraging. Intense hallucinations of this nature can cause intoxicated individuals to panic, lash out, attack people, harm themselves, or even drive them to attempt suicide.
Can You Get Addicted?
The specific signs of 2C-I, 2CE, and 2C-B abuse are difficult to determine, but it can be helpful to look for signs associated with both ecstasy and hallucinogen abuse.
Signs of ecstasy abuse include:
- Jaw clenching or teeth grinding
- Muscle cramps
- Blurred vision
- High blood pressure
- Impulsive behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Change in sex drive
- Change in mental abilities
- Irregular heartbeat
Signs of hallucinogen abuse may include:
- Increased body temperature
- Increased heart rate or breathing
- Dry mouth
- Loss of sense of time
- Feelings of detachment
- Increased feelings of relaxation
- Loss of coordination
- Sleep problems
The sudden onset of any of these symptoms mixed with signs of frequently attending parties, nightclubs, or raves (staying out late, change in social circle, drug paraphernalia, etc.) can point to a drug abuse problem and 2CE overdose. When it comes to club drugs, polydrug use (taking multiple drugs at once) is very common, so it’s unlikely that a 2C drug alone is the problem. 
Most psychedelic drugs are not considered to be physically addictive, but any drug abuse can lead to psychological dependence. This means that the user cannot seem to get through the day without the drug, and becomes anxious and agitated if the drug is not available.
Addiction to 2C-I, 2CE, and 2C-B can be complicated to treat due to the high incidence of mixing these drugs with other common club drugs. People addicted to 2C substances may also have some level of dependence on cocaine, ecstasy, acid, methamphetamine, and/or cannabis. All addictions need to be addressed in any treatment plan.
The first step in drug abuse treatment for certain drugs is detox – the medically monitored process by which the drug slowly leaves the person’s body and may result in physical withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from 2C-I, 2CE, and 2C-B has not been well documented, but may include any of the common symptoms associated with ecstasy, including depression and fatigue.
Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up TX provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery through our 2CE drug addiction treatment. Reclaim your life today, call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists.
[1-2] Acute Effects of 2C-E in Humans: An Observational Study – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
 New Black Market Designer Drugs: Why Now? – https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/new-black-market-designer-drugs-why-now
 2C or Not 2C: Phenethylamine Designer Drug Review – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
 2c-i, 2c-e, 2C-b Abuse: Understanding Research Chemicals – https://americanaddictioncenters.org/research-chemicals