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Four Identical Pills At The Same Festival Contain Different Substances

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Four Identical Pills At The Same Festival Contain Different Substances

Four seemingly identical-looking pills that were found to be on sale in the UK turned out to contain hugely different chemicals, some of which might not be what the users thought they were, according to drug testing experts.

Each of the different - though similar - substances were found at the exact same music festival.

The pills are all different colours and shaped like an Egyptian pharaoh, with the same pattern printed across all of them.

It is thought that every one of them was sold as MDMA, but only one actually is.

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The brown pills are the ones that are genuine MDMA, but the others contain other chemicals, some of which are psychoactive, and others which could cause unexpected side-effects.

Not-for-profit drugs group The Loop UK explained the pink pills, for example, contain eutylone which is known to cause serious insomnia and psychosis.

Eutylone can potentially cause serious side-effects. Credit: The Loop
Eutylone can potentially cause serious side-effects. Credit: The Loop

The yellow ones contain benzocaine, which is a local anaesthetic used in dentistry.

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It is only used as a bulking agent for cocaine, though. It does not have psychoactive properties.

The blue pills contain A-CMCm, which is a cathinone that does provide some stimulation to the user, but without the euphoria usually associated with MDMA.

All of the pills were tested by experts from The Loop at Parklife Festival in Manchester two weekends ago.

According to Professor Fiona Measham, who is the chair of criminology at Liverpool University, the fact that the pills are so similar, yet contain such different chemicals, is a massive problem when it comes to drug safety.

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It's worth getting your drugs tested, if you must take them. Credit: Twitter/@WeAreTheLoop
It's worth getting your drugs tested, if you must take them. Credit: Twitter/@WeAreTheLoop

She told The Mirror: "People might buy a pill and have no idea what is in it and have very different experiences.

"They might try to buy more of a pill after an okay experience and then what they get might have totally different contents.

"If people can test they should and always have a tiny, tiny dose and wait a couple of hours to see the effect before having more."

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Of course, the best piece of advice - she said - was 'not to take the drugs' in the first place.

Because of various factors, including COVID-19 and Brexit, there is currently a shortage of MDMA on the UK market.

The pills were all tested at Parklife. Credit: PA
The pills were all tested at Parklife. Credit: PA

That means that the market has changed altogether.

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Professor Measham said: "It's difficult to overstate how much the drug market has changed since lockdown, COVID and Brexit.

"Partly because of Brexit there is a lack of road haulage and lorry drivers and this has meant for example shortages to milkshakes for McDonald's, and we wouldn't be surprised to see similar disruptions to illegal supply chains."

Featured Image Credit: The Loop

Topics: Science, UK News, Drugs

Tom Wood
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