Pride-goers have been warned over bad batch of Chupa Chups ecstasy pills, which have been linked with several deaths in advance of the weekend celebrations.
The ecstasy pills, shaped like the children’s lollipop logo, have been found to contain several adulterant substances including PMA, which has been linked to to several deaths.
According to drug charity Frank, PMA is similar to MDMA (the chemical in ecstasy) and is sometimes sold as ecstasy. However, PMA is more poisonous and can kill at lower doses than MDMA.
Like MDMA, it can cause a fatal rise in body temperature. The effects of PMA can a take a while to kick-in so there’s a risk of the user double-dosing to compensate, risking a fatal overdose.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Police want people to enjoy Pride this weekend and keep safe. We are aware of reports warning of a potentially dangerous illegal drug, information of which is being shared widely across Sussex.”
“There is always a risk in taking any drugs and we urge people to stay safe. The devastating effect of drug use can have a much wider impact than just on the person taking them.
Most illegal drugs are cut with other substances, and they are substances which could have an adverse effect on your body and cause serious illnesses and in extreme circumstances, death. The best advice is not to take any drugs” she added.
Chris Smith, a spokesman for the Pavilions Drug and Alcohol service, a part of the Mind mental health charity, said his organisation had been alerted to a contaminated batch of the pills in the Worthing area, and that it was likely that the pills would make their way to Brighton over the course of Pride weekend.