Pill testing at a Victorian music festival has uncovered drugs laced with deadly substance linked to rave deaths and overdoses.
More than 300 festival-goers had their drugs checked out at the illegal testing station and a sample revealed that some of the pills were laced with para-Methoxyamphetamine, aka “Dr Death“. The powerful hallucinogen NBOMe was also found in later laboratory tests of the dangerous drug cocktails.
The substance has been linked to 3 deaths and 20 hospitalizations after a spate of overdoses along the party strip known as Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia.
Edith Cowan University academic Stephen Bright who started the rogue testing tent said:
“99 per cent of people binned their drugs when told they contained unknown substances. We went to the organisers and explained what had happened. They didn’t want to see anybody die at the festival and gave us permission to set up a testing station out the back of a tent.”
Each pill was subjected to 4 different reagent tests. The results in about 30% of cases contradicted each other, indicating the drug contained an unknown substance.
Dr Bright said it highlighted the need for sophisticated testing equipment, both on-site at music festivals and also at permanent locations in Australian capital cities.