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UK MDMA Shortage Could Be Down To Lack Of Lorry Drivers

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UK MDMA Shortage Could Be Down To Lack Of Lorry Drivers

The UK is currently in the middle of a shortage of MDMA, and it could be - in part - due to the fact that drugs aren't coming into the country because of a shortage of lorry drivers.

While this might seem like a good thing, it has prompted campaigners to warn against substitute substances in circulation that could be potentially dangerous.

As well as the lack of lorry drivers, Brexit and Covid-19 could have played a part in the shortage, according to experts.

Niamh Eastwood, executive director of drugs charity Release, told Metro the 'drought' could 'certainly be a result of the reduction of HGVs carrying goods in from Europe, where illegal goods would usually be concealed amongst legal products, and where suppliers have prioritised getting in more lucrative drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.'

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As it stands, England is one of only a small number of countries in which nightclubs are allowed to be open, meaning that MDMA makers in the Netherlands - which is where most of the party drug is produced - might not see much profit in the industry until everything returns back to normal in enough places.

Other substances have been found to be substituted instead of MDMA. Credit: PA
Other substances have been found to be substituted instead of MDMA. Credit: PA

Eastwood explained: "Like many other goods that are imported into the UK, we are seeing the supply chain for some illicit substances affected, although as this is an unregulated market it is hard to pin it down... and it is likely the result of a number of different factors."

The worrying thing about all of this is that where there is no MDMA, other substances may be sold that could have potentially unexpected side-effects.

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Drug testing charity The Loop reported that just half of the samples they tested at Lost Village Festival in Lincolnshire last week actually contained MDMA.

They found that some festival-goers had actually been sold a number of substances including 4-CMC, 3-MMC, and eutylone, all of which can cause anxiety, paranoia, and more intensive redosing, meaning more is taken quicker.

MDMA in pure form. Credit: PA
MDMA in pure form. Credit: PA

After 4-CMC was found to be circulating in Manchester last month, the Manchester Drug Analysis and Knowledge Exchange (MANDRAKE) issued a warning through director Oliver Sutcliffe, who told MailOnline: "These compounds are potentially more harmful, but the fact is they're not fully understood therefore people don't really understand what doses of things to take or what happens if they are taken in combination."

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You can find more information on drug safety and testing by visiting The Loop's website.

If you - or anyone - takes drugs and feels unwell, contact a medical professional immediately.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, MDMA, Drugs

Tom Wood
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