Super-strength Ecstasy which has caused the deaths of more than 60 people in England and Wales – including people in Greater Manchester – is on sale in the region.
An alert has now been issued warning people that the Ecstasy or MDMA, which comes in both pill and powder form, is extremely dangerous.
The warning has been issued by a Greater Manchester Drug Alert Panel, which comprises experts from across the city-region and forms the Greater Manchester Drug Early Warning System.
They are asking people who are attending Parklife this weekend to take extra care, after two people died at the recent Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth – warning that this level of potency for Ecstasy and MDMA has never been seen before in Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester Drug Early Warning Coordinator Michael Linnell added: “MDMA pills and MDMA powder are stronger than they have ever been. This is what makes it so dangerous. Even half a pill can be a dangerously high dose on its own and the risk is increased if alcohol and other drugs are taken at the same time.
“There have been numerous recent warnings about high potency individual pills, which are thought to contain up to 300mg of MDMA. This is at least three times a strong dose for an adult male and more than four times that for a younger person or a woman with a smaller body weight.”
Panel member Dr Prun Bijral, Medical Director of CGL, one of the leading drug and alcohol service providers added: “There is no safe way of using ecstasy there will always be a risk involved in using this very dangerous drug. If you do take that risk don’t use alone, make sure friends are around so they can get immediate help from the emergency services if you start to feel ill.”
The super-strength Ecstasy pills come in hundreds of different shapes, colours, and designs, costing as little as £5 each. The drug also comes in powder and crystallised forms.
Greater Manchester Drug Early Warning System is a multi-agency initiative and the first regional system of its type to be established. It provides up to date online information to professionals throughout Greater Manchester and has an alert panel that assess risks around individual drug-related incidents.