Also known as

Naphyrone, energy-1, rave, O-2482, NRG-3




'NRG' is a term used to describe a number of substances (the most common being NRG-1 and NRG-3) which are mostly derivatives of naphyrone (or naphthylpyrovalerone), a man-made 'designer drug' with stimulant properties. However, it is important to note that many drugs sold as 'NRG' have been found to contain a wide range of chemicals and may have no relation to naphyrone at all [1].

Naphyrone is a stimulant drug closely related to the cathinone family which includes mephedrone. Naphyrone does not have a long history of use, so there is little evidence of its long-term effects or on the risks from using it. However, due to its similarity to other cathinones, naphyrone is likely to share the same effects and risks.

The high potency of naphyrone by comparison with other cathinones suggests that it is likely to be associated with a higher risk of accidental overdose [2].

Medical usage


What does it look like?

White/off-white powder [1]. Naphyrone is normally found as a fine white or off-white/yellow powder [2].


Derived from pyrovalerone - a psychoactive drug from the Cathinone family of chemicals with stimulant effects, and is chemically similar to Mephedrone. Usually manufactured in laboratories abroad [3].

Street price

Some naphyrone suppliers are marketing the drug for as little as 25p a dose (£12.50 / gram, or 1kg for £2,500). Some internet based retailers are selling naphyrone (NRG-1) as a premium based plant food or pond cleaner [1]. It is sold at between £15 and £25 a gram [2].

Why take it?

Sought after effects

  • excitable,
  • wakefulness,
  • increased awareness of surroundings [1],
  • stimulation,
  • prolonged wakefulness,
  • alertness,
  • urge to talk [3].

Undesired effects

  • insomnia,
  • lack of appetite and concentration,
  • memory problems with frequent use [1].


Naphyrone is a stimulant drug also known as naphthylpyrovalerone and marketed under the brand name NRG-1, naphyrone produces its pharmacological effects through interactions with the neurotransmitters dopamine (involved in the regulation of reward-driven behaviour), serotonin (involved in the regulation of appetite, mood, learning, memory and sleep) and norepinephrine (the stress hormone also known as noradrenaline).

Neurotransmitters work by transmitting signals (in the form of electrical impulses) from nerve cells (neurons) to target cells which produce characteristic effects, across small gaps called synapses. After a neurotransmitter has produced an impulse, it is usually reabsorbed by a neurotransmitter transporter since neurotransmitters themselves are too large to cross cell membranes. This reuptake regulates neurotransmitter levels within synapses and controls how long a signal produced by neurotransmitters last.

Naphyrone is thought to act as a triple reuptake inhibitor of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine and its action is facilitated by the dopamine transporter (DAT), the serotonin transporter (SERT) and the norepinephrine transporter (NET).

Currently, there is no reliable safety and toxicity information available for naphyrone. It is potentially a potent drug with very doses being reported as effective.

Additionally, it is very common for drugs being sold as 'NRG-1' to contain a mixture of naphyrone and other drugs [1].

Mode of use

Usually sniffed [1].

Most commonly sold as a white crystalline powder which is snorted up the nose, swallowed or also taken as 'bombs' - wrapped in paper and swallowed [3].

Naphyrone is is usually snorted like powder cocaine or swallowed ('bombed') in wraps of paper. When naphyrone was sold over the internet as a 'legal high', it was often described as a plant food, research chemicals or bath salts, and 'not for human consumption' [2].


Naphyrone does not have a long history of use, so there is little evidence of its short and long term effects. As naphyrone is related to the cathinones it can be assumed that it is likely to share the same effects as other cathinones, such as euphoria, talkativeness, alertness and feelings of empathy [2].


  • anxiety,
  • palpitations,
  • high blood pressure,
  • increased body temperature,
  • short attention span,
  • jaw clenching,
  • muscle twitching/fidgeting,
  • insomnia,
  • paranoia,
  • memory loss [3].


Naphyrone does not have a long history of use, but it's likely to share the same risks as other cathinones such as insomnia, loss of short-term memory, vertigo, grinding of teeth and sweating [2].

Here's what it may do to you -

  • it can cause feelings of anxiety and paranoia,
  • it can overstimulate the heart and circulatory system, causing damage such as high blood pressure and possibly heart attacks,
  • it can over-excite the nervous system, which can lead to fits,
  • other risks include reduced inhibitions leading to risky behaviours, such as unprotected sex [2].


There is no data about the safety or toxicity of this substance [3].


There is no data about the safety or toxicity of this substance. Almost nothing is known about the long-term effects of the drug due to the short history of its use. However, likely harm includes adverse effects on the heart and blood vessels, hyperthermia, dependence and psychiatric effects. There have also been reports of severe paranoia and suicidal tendencies [3].


Can you get addicted

Although there is little evidence on naphyrone, like other cathinones it is very likely to be able to create a state of psychological dependence, with increased use associated with increased health harms [2].

Dangerous interactions


  • αMT,
  • Tramadol - Tramadol and stimulants both increase the risk of seizures.
  • MAOIs - MAO-B inhibitors can increase the potency and duration of phenethylamines unpredictably. MAO-A inhibitors with amphetamine can lead to hypertensive crises [4].


  • DOx - The combined stimulating effects of the two can lead to an uncomfortable body-load, while the focusing effects of amphetamine can easily lead to thought loops. Coming down from amphetamines while the DOx is still active can be quite anxiogenic.
  • NBOMes - Amphetamines and NBOMes both provide considerable stimulation. When combined they can result in tachycardia, hypertension, vasoconstriction and in extreme cases heart failure. The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants are also not good in combination with psychedelics as they can lead to unpleasant thought loops. NBOMes are known to cause seizures and stimulants can increase this risk.
  • 2C-T-x - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences. In extreme cases, they can result in severe vasoconstriction, tachycardia, hypertension, and in extreme cases heart failure.
  • 5-MeO-xxT - The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants increase the chance of unpleasant thought loops. The combination is generally unnecessary because of the stimulating effects of psychedelics.
  • DXM - Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these drugs have led to more serious heart issues.
  • PCP - This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states [4].


Naphyrone is a Class B drug which means that it's illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.

Possession can get you up to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you 14 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine [2].

What if you're caught?

  • if the Police catch you with naphyrone, they'll always take some action. This could be a formal caution, or arrest and possible conviction,
  • a conviction for a drug-related offence could have a serious impact. It can stop you visiting certain countries - for example the United States - and limit the types of jobs you can apply for [2].

Did you know?

  • Like drinking and driving, driving while high is illegal - and you can still be unfit to drive the day after using. You can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison.
  • Allowing other people to supply drugs in your house or any other premises is illegal. If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a club they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any person concerned in the management of the premises [2].

Harm reduction

NRG and Naphyrone can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, which can be worrying if you've not experienced them before. If it's your first time, start with a very small dose and learn your own tolerance [1].

  • if you're buying (either online or in person) try to find out as much as you can about the seller and what they're selling, as it may not be what you think it is,
  • these drugs can interact with other substances, such as alcohol, other recreational drugs and certain medications, so be extra cautious if you're taking any of these,
  • you may feel extremely sociable and tactile (wanting physical contact) when taking these substances, so it's important to be somewhere safe and with people you trust - try not to get left alone with strangers [1].


If the drug is snorted - a razor blade will be used to chop it in to lines on a hard level surface such as a mirror or a sheet of glass or a tile [3].


The NRG products as well as Naphyrone are relatively new, only appearing on the market in 2010. Google trends data on NRG-1 searches indicates a spike in searches in the latter half of April 2010. The government announced that mephedrone and other substituted cathinones were to be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 on the 29th March 2010 and became controlled drugs on 16th April 2010). This affected some of the NRG products that contained cathinone products. Naphyrone then also became controlled separately on 12th July 2010 [1].