Letting people test their drugs will reduce the number of needless deaths

If we can provide important information about the contents of alcoholic drinks, says Ian Hamilton, why can’t we provide it for drugs like ecstasy?

Thursday 18 November 2021 09:53
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<p>‘As the strength of ecstasy pills has incrementally increased in recent years, so have reports of adulterants, adding to the case for providing drug testing to users’ </p>

‘As the strength of ecstasy pills has incrementally increased in recent years, so have reports of adulterants, adding to the case for providing drug testing to users’

Specialist drug analysis service Mandrake in Greater Manchester has issued an alert about extremely potent ecstasy pills. Known and branded as “Blue Punisher” pills, they have been found to contain between 397 and 477mg of MDMA, the psychoactive ingredient in ecstasy. This is the highest ever recorded dose of MDMA in the world to date.

There is a risk of significant harm, as this type of pills could potentially prove fatal to those exposed to them. Given that a usual dose of MDMA is anywhere between 100 and 125mg, these pills are nearly five times more potent.

As ecstasy is illegal under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act and classified as a Class A drug, the obvious problem is that those using ecstasy don’t know just how strong their drug is until they’ve ingested them, by which time it’s too late.

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