According to a new report from the authorities in the EU, the MDMA powder and ecstasy tablets that are currently in circulation are more potent than they have ever been before. Recently, MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy pills, has witnessed a revived interest from recreational users. The average content of the drug has been steadily increasing since 2009 and drug authorities warn that even half a pill can constitute a dangerously high dose on its own. The risk increases when an ecstasy pill is taken with alcohol or with other drugs.
The report from the EU authorities found that an individual pill can contain up to 300mg of MDMA. This dose is at least thrice the usual dose for an adult male and more than four times the dose for a younger person or a woman with lower body weight. Ecstasy pills come in a variety of shapes, designs, and colors. It can come both in pill or powder form. Some of them can cost as little as £5 for each dose. The report also warned that fake copycat drugs that are being marketed as ecstasy are also increasing in popularity and supply.
Warnings at Music Festivals
These super strong ecstasy tablets have caused the deaths of approximately 60 people annually in the UK alone. Drug alerts have been issued across the region to warn users that taking even an individual pill of this party drug can be extremely risky, especially because the MDMA content in the pills can be highly variable. The warning has been issued following the deaths of two people at the recent Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth have led to the cancellation of the festival itself.
The two casualties have reported taken a variation called the Blue Punisher tablets which contain MDMA with traces of 4-Fluoromethylphenidate (4F-MPH). 4F-MPH is a stimulant which acts as a more potent dopamine reuptake inhibitor than the more common type of methylphenidate, Ritalin. People who have seen and used the drug also reported that the drug has a strong aniseed/chemical scent. These pills are known as Blue Punisher because they are shaped like irregular pentagons featuring a Punisher skull on the front.
The panel which issued the drug alert stated that there is no safe way to ever take ecstasy because there will always be accompanying risks when this designer drug is taken. They cautioned users that decide to ignore the warning to, at the very least, make sure that they do not take the drug when they are alone. As much as possible, they should make sure that they are with friends who can seek immediate help from the emergency services in case anything untoward takes place.