HSE warns against new form of ecstasy
The HSE have taken the unusual step of publicly warning about the dangers of the brown powder form of ecstasy that was found near the bodies of the two young men who died in Kinsale on Sunday morning.
The drug also contains other toxic substances which can cause death, particularly when it is mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
David Lane, spokesperson for HSE South Addiction Services said that they have had reports of the drug in Cork but “it’s too early to say where we are in terms if prevalence of this drug in Cork. Estimates are that the numbers using this drug are quite small.”
“We have acted quickly. We weren’t going to sit on this one.
“This compound has been available for about 12 months and implicated in deaths in the continent,” he added.
“These are the first deaths in Ireland. It has been called Dr Death and Mandy but there is no one name for this drug,” Mr Lane said.
The drug is a brown powder substance available in the Cork area known to contain Methylamphetamine (MDMA Ecstasy) and Paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA). Symptoms of its use include high fever, rapid heart rate, and agitation.
PMMA has been linked with deaths in Canada, Scotland and Norway over the last two years.
The analysis of the drug found near the bodies of the two men in Kinsale indicate that it contained both MDMA and PMMA, according to Gardaí.
“It’s a synthetic drug with no quality control. Drug users don’t know what they are getting,” according to Mr Lane.
“It is not so much a question of a bad batch as concern about the loss of two lives. There are significant sensitivities with two families grieving.
“Gardaí have been making significant progress looking at the source of this drug. They have made good progress and are to be commended.”
The mixture of MDMA and PMMA can be snorted, ingested through being placed on the tongue or injected.
The HSE are advising the public that the misuse of drugs carries serious health risks particularly when other drugs including alcohol are taken in combination.
The HSE South has alerted medical professionals in the region along with community and voluntary groups working with drug users on this issue.
If someone gets into difficulty after consuming a substance it is critically important to get help immediately by calling the emergency services, the HSE advise.