Health officials warned a batch of MDMA circulating in a significant city contains a ‘toxic’ substance that can cause death.
Victorian health officials have warned drug users about a batch of dangerous and spiked ecstasy circulating in Melbourne.
The ecstasy, also known as MDMA, has been found to contain PMMA, a substance “more toxic, less euphoric, and takes longer to have an effect,” the Victorian health department said.
The drug comes in the form of broken-up yellow crystals.
“Para-Methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) is an ‘empathogen’ with stimulant and mild hallucinogenic properties that has been associated with a substantial number of deaths worldwide,” the health department wrote in an alert on Friday.
“Depending on the amount taken, it seems to have a significant risk of severe harm to health.
“This includes hyperthermia (dangerously high body temperature), acute respiratory distress (severe shortness of breath needing immediate medical attention), cardiac arrest, convulsions, sudden collapse, multiple organ failure, and death.”
The department also stated people who had taken the drug said it was “hard to take a dose that provides any desirable effects without experiencing serious unwanted effects”. Because PMMA takes longer to affect, some people had prematurely born additional doses, which led to overdosing. DanceWize, a non-profit organization Harm Reduction Victoria initiative, said the pill-testing kit mandolin reagent would turn olive green if PMMA was present. However, the information provided by the test was “minimal”.