MDPV Dangers

What does MDPV have to do with Internet pioneer John McAfee, and could this dangerous psychoactive drug have played a role in a murder in Belize?

Police in the tropical locale are eager to talk to the billionaire after his neighbor, US national Gregory Faull, was found shot in the head. Officials insist McAfee is not a suspect – three are already in custody – but the two expats had a contentious relationship that may have come to a head when four of McAfee’s dogs were poisoned prior to the murder.

It is only because of this murder investigation that we are hearing more about McAfee and his potential ties to MDPV.

In 2010 McAfee reportedly began posting on a drug-focused Russian-hosted message board about his attempts to purify the drug known more commonly as “bath salts.” McAfee posted several hundred times about the psychoactive drugs, freely admitting in one post, “I’m a huge fan of MDPV.”

He talked about the sexual benefits among others and warned about the dangers of handling the freebase version, reporting that it caused him to have visual and auditory hallucinations as well as, “the worst paranoia of my life.” He also gave instructions for inserting the drug rectally for a more effective high.

So just what is MDVP, and how does it work?

The drug was recently banned in the US, but it remains legal in Belize. The substance belongs to a class of drugs called cathinones, a natural source of which is the East African plant khat. Users report that it is a powerful mind-altering substance. Experts warn of the psychiatric and medical dangers of the drug, saying users report intense and unpleasant visual hallucinations after a short binge. The drug feels non-toxic with its first use, but following a moderate binge users suffer mild to moderate paranoia. One in 10 individuals who use higher doses achieve a sustained psychotic state with intense anxiety that lasts from three to seven days.

McAfee, 67, has reportedly been blogging from an undisclosed location and told a reporter for <I>Wired</I> that he did not kill his neighbor. He founded the Internet security company that bears his name but left it in 1994. Faull recently filed a formal complaint against McAfee with the mayor’s office, asserting that McAfee had fired off guns and exhibited “roguish behavior.” McAfee’s intensive use of MDPV could explain his growing estrangement from the expat community in Belize, his reported paranoia and his recent bizarre behavior following the murder of his neighbor.

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