Clubbers all around England and Wales are now being animatedly warned about the heightened risk of overdosing on ecstasy due to new evidence that the purity of the drug has increased to potentially dangerous levels in recent years in Europe. It has been reported by the Office for National Statistics that between 2010 and 2013 that deaths caused by ecstasy in England and Wales have steadily risen from 8 to 43. This may be credited to what experts are now calling “super-strength” ecstasy. Experts have discovered through tests administered on drugs confiscated at festivals and clubs overseas this past summer that ecstasy purity is at its highest level for about 10 years.
According to DrugScope, the UK’s leading independent center of expertise on drugs and drug use, some ecstasy pills floating around today exceed the standard dose of MDMA by nearly two and a half times the normal limit per pill. The average ecstasy tablet now contains 100mg of MDMA, far exceeding the “acceptable” dose of 70-75 mg for an average-sized adult. What’s even more notable is the fact that in 2009, experts say that the average ecstasy pill contained just 20-30mg.
Professor of criminology at Durham University, Fiona Measham, stated that the increased purity of ecstasy is probably due to manufacturers’ abilities to find new ways to synthesize the drug. She said, “the reason the purity dropped so low a few years ago was because law enforcement agencies managed to disrupt the supply chain of the precursor ingredients used to make ecstasy”…“Now we think that manufacturers have figured out a new way of making ecstasy without it. It’s like making a cake: there’s more than one ways to make one, you can use butter or margarine. But we don’t know for sure. Naturally, the industrial manufacture of class-A drugs is shrouded in mystery.”
Due to these alarming and potentially fatal findings, clubs like Warehouse Project in Manchester now send out warnings on its Twitter feed before big nights that read: “On-site tests reveal very high purity ecstasy & MDMA in circulation. Dangers include overheating, seizures, heart problems. Please be careful.” This isn’t only due to the recent research findings, but also the recent recurring overdoses and subsequent deaths of those who have ingested this “super-strength” ecstasy.
With the rise of dance music continuing on a world wide scale this year, this should come as no surprise. Relevantly sized swathes of people within the community generally drive the drug conversation within the scene, and unfortunately, for the industry as a whole, this is the result. It would be wise to be more careful of what you are ingesting, no matter where in the world you are.