You may have heard on the news over the Christmas period about the deaths of four men who are believed to have taken ecstasy type pills with a Superman logo. Dr Caroline Chatwin, a drugs policy expert, has now spoken out about how the Government were aware that these pills were dangerous and failed to warn the public about the dangers of taking them.
The University of Kent criminologist has told that the Government’s policies to reduce harm through prevention had been undermined. She went on to say how the media coverage of the four deaths has prompted police to declare an amnesty on the pink Superman pills. However, she also told of how five days before the first death, a high alert had been issued by Trimbos in the Netherlands about these pills after they had found them to contain the deadly ingredient PMMA. Trimbos is a centre of expertise on addiction and mental health.
Failure to Act
Ms Chatwin said the Government failed to act on this alert and only a handful of websites for harm reduction picked up the information. She said, “The publication of the Dutch information on user-based internet sites provides an excellent example of harm reduction in action – something that ought to be organised and implemented by the Government and official drug services with their sophisticated European networks for sharing information on drugs”.
She has called on the Government to now take some responsibility for the fact that four men died as a result of taking these pills. The Government failed to make the information on these pills public.
A former drugs advisor for the Government, Dr David Nutt, has also expressed concerns regarding the Government’s drugs policies. He said that although current policies targeting the sale and production of MDMA were working, the substance had simply been replaced by one even more toxic. PMA and PMMA have been responsible for more than 100 ecstasy addiction related deaths in recent times and these ingredients have been produced to overcome the block that was introduced on MDMA.
Dangers of Taking Ecstasy
With the Government’s policy targeting the sale and production of ecstasy or MDMA, we now have these more deadly pills hitting the streets. Drug manufacturers have created new ‘ecstasy-like’ pills, which we have seen are more deadly. The biggest problem for those taking ecstasy is that they just do not know what they are getting. As we have seen from this new batch of pills, there is often no MDMA in them at all. Ingredients such as PMA and PMMA are highly toxic and have been proved to be fatal to some people. There is no way of knowing how a person will react to these impure substances; it really is too risky to take a pill like this.
Why People Take Ecstasy
You would think that with the media coverage on the deaths of these four men that more people would be discouraged from taking ecstasy. However, ecstasy, as with all drugs, can be addictive; for some, the pull is too strong, regardless of the risks. However, one big problem is that these new ingredients may take longer to take effect, leading users to take more of the pills, which will obviously increase the risk of side effects.
Kicking the Habit
With so much emphasis on the dangers of taking pills such as ecstasy, there is never a better time to try to quit. However, this may not be easy to do alone. Here at Addiction Helper, we have a team of counsellors who can offer advice and direct you to an appropriate treatment centre at which you can get the support you need to kick the habit. Call us today.
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