Australia: stronger ecstasy pills dangerous for users — A dramatic increase in the number of ‘ecstasy’ tablets on the street containing high levels of MDMA could prove fatal to Australian users, warn drug researchers.
Ecstasy is the street name for drugs containing MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or with a chemical structure similar to MDMA.
According to the Drug and Alcohol Research Training Australia (DARTA), in recent months there has been a dramatic increase in the number of these drugs on Australia’s streets that contain higher levels of MDMA.
“The issue that we’re seeing, in Europe particularly at the moment, is an increase in the prevalence of MDMA,” said DARTA founder and director Paul Dillon.
“It’s very strange. We haven’t seen this for some time,” he said, according to reports.
“In Australia, ecstasy has typically contained only a small amount of MDMA, or none at all, leading many drug users in Australia to take multiple “tabs”, noted Mr. Dillon.
“In Australia over the last few years ecstasy pills have become very poor quality, very weak,” he said.
“Young people are now double-dropping or triple-dropping… which means you take two at a time or three at a time”.
“They believe they are going to be of such poor quality, you might as well take a lot if you want a hit.”
If people taking the drugs do not realize they are suddenly getting pills with an increased content of MDMA, the consequences could be devastating, he said.
“If that is happening here and we have – particularly a young person who hasn’t got a great deal of tolerance – who takes two or three at a time, there is a chance of death. MDMA toxicity is possible,” Mr Dillon warned.
“Unfortunately people think that if I’ve got an ecstasy pill and it’s got MDMA in it, then it’s good quality, it won’t hurt me. That’s just simply not true”.
“It can kill and it has done in this country a number of times,” Mr. Dillon pointed out.
Ecstasy is a popular drug in Asia and Australia, especially with young people who frequent raves or other partying venues.