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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: Tainted Batch Of Ecstasy Leads To Deaths
Title:CN BC: Tainted Batch Of Ecstasy Leads To Deaths
Published On:2012-01-21
Source:Alaska Highway News (CN BC)
Fetched On:2012-01-24 06:01:58

After a rash of ecstasy-related deaths throughout
the province, both Northern Health and the B.C.
Coroners Service are warning people to think
twice about popping one of the little pills at a party.

Over the past six months, six deaths have been
linked to ecstasy tainted with
paramethoxy-metamphetamine (PMMA) and another
thirteen have been linked to ecstasy not containing PMMAs.

The danger with ecstasy is the fact that it is a
manufactured drug that isn't always made correctly =96 by accident or on

It's a synthetic drug, so it=92s manufactured and
it's illicit. So basically, it=92s manufactured in
somebody's garage or bathtub and at best
someone's home chemistry lab,=94 said Barb
McLintock, spokesperson for the B.C. Coroners
Service in the North. =93You have no idea what's
going in. You may have people illicitly adding
[chemicals] to it or you may just have them not
being very good chemists who are putting bad stuff in them.=94

Due to the nature of manufacturing the drug,
McLintock pointed out that users can never be
sure of what they are truly taking.

Investigations in to the death are aiming to
answer many questions surrounding the
contaminants found in the drug, one of which asks
whether the PMMAs are being added to make the
drug more addictive or if they are showing up by accident.

PMMAs could be added to increase strength or it
could be that people just aren't making it
correctly =96 we don't know,=94 said McLintock.

The challenge with ecstasy-related emergencies is
that reactions are not necessarily related to
dosages and doctors struggle to treat cases in
which they don't know exactly what compounds have been taken.

They're obviously going to treat for the most
basic problems of ecstasy, the most common of
which is a hyperthermia where you get a really
high fever. But they have to blood tests really
fast at the hospital to see what else might have
been in this pill,=94 said McLintock.

Ecstasy is a drug that is not necessarily a
dose-response drug either, according to
McLintock, and users may have idiosyncratic
reactions that are similar to allergies after only one pill.

You can still have bad reactions from one pill if
you don't know your own tolerance to it.

The Fort St. John RCMP said in a previous
interview that ecstasy is prevalent in this
region, and ranks in popularity after cocaine and marijuana.

The drug is a known party drug that is often not
taken out of habit, but rather as a social drug
at a rave, house party or nightclub.

People see it, because it's not usually used as a
drug of addiction, as a recreational drug that
you do at a party on a Saturday night. So it's
not seen as being as dangerous as some of those
other drugs, but it is,=94 said McLintock. =93Don't
think of this as a benign, harmless drug. It's too risky for that.=94

McLintock pointed out that the rash of recent
deaths proves that, but deaths are happening
every year through the region and the province because of this drug.

In total, the northeast has seen 10
ecstasy-related deaths since 2006 according to a
B.C. Coroners Service report. One of those
happened as recently as 2011 in Dawson Creek.

The PMMA tainted batch that has been responsible
for many of the recent publicized deaths seems to
have not made it's way out of the Lower Mainland
at this point, but McLintock suspects it will
make its way to the Northern region at some point.

Ecstasy is always dangerous=85. But it appears to
be more dangerous than ever right now. This is not a good recreational drug.
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