Summer of love tinged with danger as MDMA reaches new peaks at New Zealand festivals

* MDMA safety and harm reduction guidelines HERE

Despite being early in the festival season the amount of MDMA – or E – tested by Know Your Stuff (in New Zealand) that was indeed MDMA was higher than ever before, the group’s director Wendy Allison said. Most pills ranged between 80 and 120 milligrams of MDMA but at one festival a person – who said they got the drugs from Amsterdam – had a single dose with an estimated 580mlg of the active ingredient. That was easily the most-potent E find of the summer so far, but pills were often turning up two-times their normal dose, she said.

“It tested to be mostly MDMA – we couldn’t find anything else in it.” While MDMA was generally not fatal, users could overdose through “serotonin syndrome” where the body lost the ability to regulate heat. There have been three known ecstasy-related deaths in New Zealand, the first of which is thought to have been linked to the phenomenon, New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said . The only way people could get specific information on black market drugs was with checking. If the public and authorities really wanted to know what types of drugs people were taking and issue good warnings then the law needed to catch up, he said. Many festival organisers – despite wanting the service – were still too nervous about their liability and Bell said both festivals and drug-testers needed greater legal protection. The Misuse of Drugs Act makes it illegal for festival organisers to knowingly allow recreational drugs on their premises. “If you want to get 100 per cent information about what’s on the black market then test the drugs people are putting in their mouths.” The information could also help authorities such as police avoid embarrassing public announcements, Bell said.

Original Article (
Summer of love tinged with danger as MDMA reaches new peaks at New Zealand festivals
Artwork Fair Use: Melirius

Modern Culture

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