July 27, 2017  Last Update: December 21, 2016, 11:10 pm

‘Mortal Kombat’ Ecstasy Kills Scottish Clubbers

What do you get when you combine a deadly poison with a party drug? A deadly brand of ecstasy.

What do you get when you combine a deadly poison with a party drug? A deadly brand of ecstasy.

Scottish ecstasy buyers are being warned: pills sold as Ecstasy (with MDMA) might actually be something much rarer, dangerous and poorly understood. Ecstasy makers are using PMMA – also known as “death” on the street– as a substitute for MDMA in their pills.

According to harm reduction advocates, PMMA (para-Methoxy-N-methylamphetamine) is a newer, more powerful version of an older drug called PMA. Both drugs offer highs very similar to MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, but take longer for the effects to kick in. Ecstasy users thinking they’re taking ecstasy with MDMA might actually have pills with PMMA, causing them to overdose on what they might consider a normal dose of pills. There’s no way to know what an ecstasy pill contains outside of a lab test, and many dealers themselves don’t know exactly what they’re really selling.

This isn’t the first time PMMA was linked to ecstasy deaths, nor is it the only poison; desmethyl fentanyl was recently identified as the poison in ecstasy pills.

Beware! More bad ecstasy killing kids...this time labeled "Mortal Kombat"
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A detailed article on blog “AThousandFlowers” digs into Scotland’s PMMA problem. Apparently, a popular brand of ecstasy containing the drug, stamped with the logo of the video game Mortal Kombat, has been making rounds through northern Europe, killing clubbers in its wake.

“Believing the pills to be weak, they take more – when they finally come up, they may have consumed toxic levels of PMA as opposed to manageable levels of MDMA.”
- AThousandFlowers.com

It’s impossible look at a pill and know what drugs are in it. There are test kits available to consumers, but according to discussions on line, those tests cannot reliably discern PMMA from MDMA, or identify either molecule in a mixture.

PMA, an amphetamine, emerged out of secret Canadian drug labs during the early 1970s, caused a few overdose deaths and then disappeared for around 25 years before it reemerged in Europe around 2000. The DEA considers any dose over 50 milligrams as “potentially lethal”. Erowid website

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