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Comments From Matt Bowden

By John Clarke

Aroma Smoking MixtureSince George Lamb couldn’t investigate his way out of a paper bag, I got in touch with Matt Bowden, the guy behind BZP, for a bit more of an in-depth commentary. If you never watched Can I Get High Legally?, now would be a good time to check it out. Matt is interviewed towards the end, but is barely given the chance to speak. Actually, he only agreed to speak to them on the condition that they mention his Aroma product and Club Stargate website, where you can earn money by getting your mates to buy stuff. I know since it’s the BBC that they couldn’t actually mention these things, but then why did they agree to it? That’s just not nice.

So, anyway, here’s what Matt has to say:

My points all simply come back to quoting proven research. Sure, BZP has risks. We analysed the risk after 10 million exposures in a country small enough that you can contact every hospital and A & D clinic to look for adverse events related to the ten million exposures (26 million pills consumed over 8.5 years) and learned that it was not causative in any reported deaths or significant lasting injuries and had not contributed to the burden on the alcohol and drug treatment industries. Nobody in the country had complained anywhere of addiction to the drug.

Nobody had ever been admitted to hospital or even presented at an emergency department who had followed the instructions on the packet and in every case where there was a hospital admission, the subject had well over the legal alcohol limit (for driving) as well. In some cases where seizures were reported they were up to 15 times over the alcohol limit! In other words they were in very poor shape even without the BZP.

There was one fatality which involved BZP but on a New Years Eve and it was combined with heroic doses of ecstasy, LSD and again mammoth quantities of alcohol. BZP was not considered by the medical examiners on the night to be causative.

It is not completely safe, but then neither is getting out of bed in the morning. It is considered risky to take with ecstasy and/or large amounts of alcohol, but if taken as directed by sensible manufacturers, the risks are lower than many other normal everyday human activities such as a trip to the beach, driving in heavy traffic or a passenger flight in a 747.

The risks are lower than activities such as surgery in a public hospital, a trip to the doctor, or, as our then-Prime Minister suggested young people do instead of taking party pills, a walk in one of our national parks, where poorly experienced trampers freeze to their deaths every year!

Some excellent facts and figures there. It’s just a shame I had to be the one to report them.

Fuck you, George Lamb..

2 Responses to Comments From Matt Bowden

  1. reece brown says:

    what a load of tripe! There were loads of people admitted to A&E in NZ because of BZP – this guy pushes BZP as a ‘natural’ high but to be honest its a lot more psychotically dangerous than MDMA – especially the MCPP varieties of piperzines

  2. mattbowden says:


    Nice to meet you, thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Unsure if you’ve clearly read what I said on the page above but to clarify my position and give you some more info: BZP is synthetic and not naturally occurring; there were A&E presentations in NZ but the majority of these people who presented to A&E in NZ were not ADMITTED to hospital, most were not serious cases, and none of the recorded cases had followed our dosage instructions In many cases the treatment provided was “verbal reassurance.” There was a thorough analysis carried out of all available hospital records which you can read about at the link below;

    As far as I know there is no evidence of neurotoxicity associated with BZP studies, have been carried out in this area, when last I checked on them they were showing BZP users brains as being essentially normal.

    meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) is a different compound to BZP, however I am not aware of any cases of mCPP induced psychosis or comparative studies with MDMA. I think methamphetamine would be a better drug to compare BZP to if a comparison were made.

    If you are interested in reading more detail on a number of these statements there is a risk analysis and research summary on BZP here

    I don’t think it is fair comment to suggest in a public forum that I “push” or otherwise present BZP as a “natural” high, I worked hard to correct this misconception over a number of years, perhaps you have confused me with somebody else, if you can back up your statements feel free to do so here.

    I understand that the BZP effect is not the most sought after drug effect and that MDMA is a preferred drug but I am comfortable with the way that we have presented its safety profile.



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