DRUG WARNING: More dangerous than usual batch MDMA (Ecstacy) in circulation in Canterbury
On Saturday night 24 and into Sunday 25 Feb, Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) had nine patients present with symptoms and side effects associated with having taken an MDMA-containing substance, more commonly known as Ecstasy. They arrived in an agitated state, with dangerously high blood pressure and an elevated high heart rate.
As these presentations to ED happened in such a short space of time and in one place, a faulty batch may be responsible and we want to warn the public of the risks of taking Ecstasy and similar drugs, and that because of a possibly faulty batch, the risk in Christchurch at this particular time is greater than ever. It reinforces the fact that you can never be sure exactly what is in an illicitly supplied drug, and that the effects on your health can be severe and long-lasting, even fatal.
Do not take this drug, and if you or someone you know has taken some and is experiencing unusually severe effects or symptoms as listed below, call 111 or get a ‘sober driver’ to drive you to ED straight away. If you know someone who has a supply, please advise them of this message.
If you have recently obtained a supply of this drug, our advice is to destroy it. The best course of action in this case would be to flush it –not normally a recommended method of disposal for any drug, but preferable to keeping the drug and safer than disposing to landfill.
The Emergency Department advises that people who have taken this batch of MDMA may be agitated, have dangerously high blood pressure or a racing heart. Damage to the heart can be permanent and other effects of the drug can lead to longer term mental health problems. Severe effects such as kidney failure, heart attacks and seizures may also occur.
Other symptoms and immediate effects of MDMA typically
• Hyperthermia – very high body temperature
• Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw
• Increased perspiration and sweating.
For an example of the potential severity
of MDMA poisoning, visit