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Energy-1 (‘NRG-1’): don't believe what the newspapers say about it being legal
  1. David M Wood1,2,
  2. Susannah Davies3,
  3. Aaron Cummins4,
  4. Jennifer Button5,
  5. David W Holt3,
  6. John Ramsey6,
  7. Paul I Dargan1,2
  1. 1Clinical Toxicology Service, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's Health Partners, London, UK
  2. 2King's College London, London, UK
  3. 3Analytical Unit, St George's, University of London, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Emergency Medicine, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  5. 5Forensic Science Service, London, UK
  6. 6TICTAC Communications Ltd, St. George's, University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to David M Wood, david.wood{at}


A 31-year-old man purchased the legal high Energy-1 (NRG-1) over the internet; this was advertised as containing the compound naphthylpyrovalerone (NPV), which at the time was currently legally available in the UK. He ingested 1 g of this substance and developed a prolonged high associated with palpitations, sweating and insomnia. Analysis of both the powder and serum samples from the patient demonstrated that he ingested two classified recreational drugs β-keto-N-methylbenzodioxolylpropylamine (butylone) and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) rather than the legal substance NPV. Users of legal highs need to be aware that legal highs purchased over the internet may contain illegal substances and therefore they may be liable for prosecution if found in possession of these substances. Future educational campaigns aimed at recreational drug and legal high users should include reference to the potential legal implications of buying these substances.

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  • This is a reprint of a paper that first appeared in BMJ Case Reports, BMJ Case Reports 2011; doi:10.1136/bcr.07.2010.3184.

  • Competing interests DMW and PID have acted as expert advisors to the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

  • Patient consent Obtained.