On July 12, 2016 the New York City Emergency Medical Services responded to a “mass casualty event” in Brooklyn, New York, where 33 people ranging in age from 25 to 59 years old were adversely affected by the drug. 18 were hospitalized. All of the victims were described by by-standers as “zombielike” and the cause was attributed to use of Fub-Amb as the demethylated metabolite was found in the blood and urine of eight of the hospitalized patients that had been sent for testing by the DEA. Screening for the more usual drugs of abuse was negative in all 8 patients. Fub-Amb itself was found in a sample from the product smoked by another patient. The metabolite was identified after 10 days and the Fub-Amb was only confirmed 17 days after the incident.
Around 60 deaths in New Zealand were attributed to either AMB-FUBINACA or a related compound 5F-ADB during 2017-2018, with tested products containing between 32 mg/g and 400 mg/g of the active ingredient, between 2x to 25x stronger than the product involved in the mass casualty event in New York a year earlier.
In the United States, AMB-FUBINACA is a Schedule I Controlled Substance. Prior to being scheduled at the federal level, the state of Louisiana banned AMB-FUBINACA through an emergency rule after it was detected in a synthetic cannabis product called “Train Wreck 2” which had been linked to adverse events and seizures on 3 June 2014.
Sweden’s public health agency suggested classifying AMB-FUBINACA as a hazardous substance on November 10, 2014.