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New batches of fake MDMA and ecstasy pills are being made with potentially dangerous chemicals, according to a drugs testing group.
A batch of the drugs tested by The Loop was found to contain the potentially deadly drug N-ethylpentylone, which can also cause paranoia and insomnia.
The 'Super Mario' batch of drugs has led to people being hospitalised and even dying after taking them. The Loop is warning that N-ethylpentylone is three times as strong as MDMA, so can lead to overdose in people who take it in the same way as MDMA.
So far, the dangerous chemical, also known as Pentylone, has been found in drugs that were sold as MDMA at Boardmasters and Bestival festivals in the UK this summer.
The Loop tweeted out a warning that said: "Yellow Supermario pill containing N-ethylpentylone tested at #Boardmasters2018. May cause severe insomnia and paranoia. The pill was bought in Cornwall so more may be in circulation."
Yellow Supermario pill containing N-ethylpentylone tested at #Boardmasters2018. May cause severe insomnia and paranoia. The pill was bought in Cornwall so more may be in circulation. #LoopAlert #TimeToTest pic.twitter.com/DsLvO1HY0m
- The Loop (@WeAreTheLoopUK) August 11, 2018
According to Fiona Measham, director of The Loop, Pentylone can keep users up for as much as 96 hours and leaves people taking more and more after the initial high wear off. This is what has the potential to lead to overdose.
She told The Metro: "It looks the same and it smells the same as MDMA,
"At the moment it tends to be a problem with dealers selling this on site. And people don't know until they try it. There were people at Bestival who had been awake for three or four days after taking it."
In its crystal form, the drug is almost indistinguishable from MDMA and looks exactly the same. It also has very similar effect but the high from taking it is not as long-lasting. This means that people take more and can end up staying up for days and days, if not worse.
It also causes the body's temperature to raise, as well as increasing anxiety and distress levels.
It's not just been found in the UK. Pentylone has been found in drugs in New Zealand and Australia and has been responsible for deaths in those countries as well.
Police have also recently issued a warning about extra-strength drugs doing the rounds. Two people also died at Portsmouth's Mutiny Festival as a result of taking drugs.
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