News of a deadly “ecstasy” pill, branded with the Superman logo, has made waves in the dance music community. Experts are concerned that the pills, which are responsible for 4 deaths in the UK, have been rebranded or redesigned and that they are still in circulation. These red tablets, purported to be ecstasy or MDMA, are actually made up of ParaMethoxyMethylAmphetamine (PMMA) and are believed to hail from the Netherlands. PMMA is highly toxic, and while similar to MDMA, the effects are markedly different. PMMA is slower acting than MDMA, meaning that users are more prone to dehydration, overheating and even overdosing.
Dr. Adam Winstock of the Global Drugs Survey states that, “early warning signs are that you feel more agitated and less nice than usual” and also adds that PMMA cannot be detected on a home test kit. Thankfully, PMMA is relatively rare, but when encountered, it can be extremely dangerous. Winstock further explains that it is incredibly simple to change the logo or shape of a pill and users should not assume a drug is safe based solely on it’s design.