Our Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS) has played a key role in alerting the community to the dangers posed by high dose MDMA tablets, recently seized by NSW Police.
NSW Health has issued a public drug warning for the high dose MDMA (ecstasy) tablets that are pink/orange in colour, with the word Gucci printed on one side, along with a ‘Gucci’ logo.
NSW Health Pathology’s Illicit Drug Analysis Unit (IDAU) recently tested a tablet seized by NSW Police, noting the logo and appearance hadn’t been seen at the IDAU previously.
Laboratory Manager, Una Cullinan said the larger than average tablet contained 414mg of the drug.
“That is more than four times the amount of MDMA usually found in these tablets, which average at around 100mg,” she said.
“NSW Police and NSW Health were immediately informed of the results.”
Medical Director of the NSW Poisons Information Centre, Dr Darren Roberts, said the consumption of high doses of MDMA has caused serious illness and death in NSW.
“It can cause severe agitation, raised body temperature, seizures or fits, irregular heart rhythm and death,” Dr Roberts said.
“The health risks from MDMA are greatly increased if high amounts, including multiple doses, are consumed over a short period. Other risks include taking MDMA in combination with other stimulants, such as amphetamines or cocaine.
“Hot environments can also increase the risk of harm from MDMA. Several music festivals are taking place this week in New South Wales, and hot weather is predicted. Taking a break from dancing, seeking shade, and drinking water are important measures to reduce the risk of overheating at festivals.”
Police and health authorities are reminding the community that the appearance of a tablet is not a reliable indicator of its drug contents.
“It is very important to remember the amount of MDMA in a tablet or capsule can vary a lot, even within the same batch,” explained Dr Roberts.
“If you or a friend have taken drugs, please watch out for each other and know the warning signs that you need help. If you or a friend feel unwell, you won’t get into trouble for seeking medical care. Please seek help immediately.”
NSW Health Pathology’s Illicit Drug Analysis and Forensic Toxicology teams work every day to keep the community safe by conducting expert analysis of blood, urine and oral fluid samples as well as testing illicit drugs seized by police.
Their work supports the health and justice systems and contributes to public health alerts such as this.
For more information on drug alerts, visit the NSW Health website.