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AMT (Alphamethyltryptamine, IT-290)
Fatalities / Deaths
by Erowid
NOTES #
Before February 2003, Erowid had received a handful of unverifiable reports of hospitalization after high-dose (over 60 mg oral) AMT ingestion. We had also received three reports of hospitalizations resulting from 5-MeO-AMT ingestion (mostly over 10 mg insufflated), but all of these were again unverified.

False Association: In February 2003, the first reported AMT-related death appeared in a mainstream media source, WTVY News in Alabama. This report, which had very few details about the death, said that it was suspected that AMT was in the "Blair Witch" branded ecstasy pills which Felicia Staats took before she died. However, further analysis revealed that there was no AMT in the tablet Felicia Staats had taken.

If you know of a confirmed fatality that is not listed on this page, please let us know.

PHARMACOLOGICAL FATALITIES #
Pharmacological fatalities are those deaths caused by the direct action of a plant or drug in the body, not including deaths caused by accidents or as a result of inebriated behavior.

Incident: Dan Arango, Feb 2003 #
This fatality was studied in depth by Boland et al. in a peer reviewed paper published in the Journal of Analytical toxicology.
Boland DM, Andollo W, Hime GW, Hearn WL. "Fatality due to acute alpha-methyltryptamine intoxication" J Anal Toxicol. 2005 Jul-Aug;29(5):394-7.
Emergency designation of AMT as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration occurred shortly after the death in Miami-Dade County. The case in Miami involved a young college student who, prior to death, advised his roommate that he was "taking hallucinating drugs" and as a result had "discovered the secret of the universe". Approximately 12 h later, the roommate discovered the deceased lying in bed unresponsive. An empty 1-g vial of AMT was recovered from the scene and sent to the toxicology laboratory. Initial screening of urine by enzyme-multiplied immunoassay technique was positive for amphetamines, and the basic drug blood screen detected a small peak later identified by mass spectrometry as AMT.
NBC6 Editors. "FIU Student's February Death Linked To AMT. NBC6. 2003 Apr.
A 22-year-old frequenter of clubs has died from a new drug on the scene called AMT. Police said in February, 22-year-old Dan Arango, sweating profusely and trembling, told his roommates he had discovered the secrets of the universe. Then the Florida International University student went to sleep and never woke up. His father spoke Monday, saying his son's death hurts a lot especially when he thinks he was only 22 years old. Police said Arango got the drug over the Internet and that it's often passed off as the club drug Ecstasy. Drug experts say they do not yet know the full dangers of AMT.
Santana S. "Club drug linked to several deaths is rising in popularity. Miami Herald. Apr 13, 2003.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's office said it is certain AMT killed Arango, who was a junior at Florida International University. His family and roommates declined to comment on his death. 'No one has ever died from this drug in Miami, that I know of,' said Dr. Lee Hearn, director of the Miami-Dade medical examiner's toxicology lab, who has been working there for more than 16 years. Hearn is researching how AMT killed Arango, which he said would be challenging because he also has to figure out how much of the drug Arango took and how. The white to off-white crystal powder, which smells like fertilizer, can be smoked, snorted or swallowed in pills. It makes people retch before making them high -- then it keeps them there for at least 12 hours. The drug, which was sold briefly as an antidepressant in the Soviet Union in the 1960s, is considered a psychedelic and has more in common with LSD than Ecstasy.
Editors. "Police: First Death In Miami-Dade County Linked To New Club Drug. 7 News Online. Apr 13, 2003.
Officials say a junior at Florida International University has become the first person to die from a new club drug that is just beginning to make its way to Florida. 22-year-old Dan Arango died February 2nd after he took a drug called alpha-methyltryptamine, or A-M-T. Arango bought the drug online. Doctor Lee Hearn, director of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's toxicology lab, says this is the first death in the county from the drug.
Incident: Randy (of Delaware) April 2003 #
Erowid received a report of a death after ingestion of AMT. No news media to our knowledge reported the death and we were not able to get any external confirmation of the event.

Private Communication. "Email to Erowid", April 2003.
I lost a very close friend of mine to AMT (possibly 5-MeO-AMT) on April 13th. His "friends" dropped my friend off at someone's house on their way to a club (not sure if they took AMT with my friend, quite possible) because he was 'having a bad trip'. After he was dropped off, everyone went to sleep. The kid who lives at the house woke up to my friend turning blue...by the time the ambulance got there, my friend's life was lost forever.

This did not make it to the media, even though I would like it to. It is solely up to his parents, whom I am very close to. I would rather not give out his name until I get permission from his parents. He was from Camden-Wyoming Delaware, a very small town about 15 minutes off of Rt. 13. I do not know much about his death. The drug has not been traced in his autopsy report (which I spoke directly to his mother about), but I have heard straight from the source that this is the drug he was taking.

MISATTRIBUTED FATALITIES #
Misattributed Incident: Felicia Staats, Feb 2003 #
Jackson D. "Local News: Analyzed pill is Ecstasy-meth mix. NewsHerald.
The News Herald A blue-green pill analyzed after a 21-year-old Fountain woman's death did not contain AMT, a substance Bay County law enforcement has labeled as deadly. The pill contained the drug Ecstasy and methamphetamine, the Bay County Sheriff's Office reported Friday after a lab analysis. Felicia Staats was found dead Monday at a home in the 12000 block of Morrell Road after taking Ecstasy pills with two friends the night before, the sheriff's office reported. Ruth Sasser, a spokeswoman with the sheriff's office, said investigators won't know the cause of Staats' death until a toxicological examination of her remains is completed. "We're not sure why this woman died," Sasser said. The pill "does not appear to be anything that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement hasn't seen before." When taken alone, one dose of Ecstasy is rarely lethal.
WTVY Editors. "Bay County Death. WTVY. 2003 Feb.
Authorities in Bay County are hoping to learn today what kind of drug killed 21-year-old Felicia Staats. Detectives say a new drug called AMT is being sold as Ecstasy. It's believed that Staats died after taking the pills Sunday night. Jason Clewis, who also took the same drug, was found in "what appeared to be a daze" and nearly died from taking the same substance. Authorities say the pills appear to be a popular form of Ecstasy known as "Blair Witch."
BEHAVIORAL FATALITIES #
Behavioral fatalities include accidents and deaths resulting from inebriated behavior. Because strong psychoactives can alter judgement, people can and do engage in dangerous behavior while on AMT or as they come down. Especially at high doses, psychedelics can radically alter perception of reality, link normally disconnected ideas, and trigger questioning of basic assumptions about the world.

SUICIDES #
None known. (unconfirmed)

MURDERS / HOMICIDES #
None known. (unconfirmed)

LD50 #
It is extremely difficult to determine an LD50 for a drug in humans. LD50s are only ever experimentally determined in animals, and extrapolations from one species to another for lethal dose are notoriously unreliable.

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