The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a warning for cocaine and MDMA in Melbourne after traces of a dangerous synthetic stimulant was found.
Obviously, it goes without saying that MDMA and cocaine are far from safe to begin with, but throwing the chemical N-ethylpentylone (NEP) in the mix has harmful, and potentially lethal, consequences.
The health alert was issued on Thursday, following multiple hospitalisations across the state, so watch out for your mates, especially in Victoria.
According to the warning, the NEP has been mixed into, or deliberately sold as MDMA or cocaine.
“There have been recent hospitalisations in Victoria associated with dangerous synthetic stimulant N-ethylpentylone (NEP). NEP may be mixed into, or mis-sold as, cocaine or MDMA. Mixing NEP with other stimulants increases the risks,” the DHHS wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
There have been recent hospitalisations in Victoria associated with dangerous synthetic stimulant N-ethylpentylone (NEP). NEP may be mixed into, or mis-sold as, cocaine or MDMA. Mixing NEP with other stimulants increases the risks. Info: https://t.co/LQ2JPcCB7M pic.twitter.com/UFuRCXYYyR
— Victorian Department of Health (@VicGovDH) December 24, 2020
Unfortunately, NEP looks and smells similar to cocaine and MDMA, which makes it near-impossible to differentiate the substances without lab testing.
NEP, when combined with other substances like cocaine or MDMA can increase the risk of overdose and death.
Symptoms of an overdose from the combination of substances include extreme agitation, confusion and high body temperature, according to the Victoria Health website. If you, or a mate is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Other symptoms of the stimulant in high doses can lead to hallucinations, the inability to sleep for up to 72 hours, seizures, heart attacks, stroke and even death.
Although we don’t get a white Christmas here in Australia, it goes without saying that the other kind of snow is much more popular at this time of year. So if you’re going to indulge, make sure you’re being as safe as possible and watching out for your mates, especially when there’s dodgy stuff going around.
The last thing anyone wants is an overdose or a hospitalisation during the festive season.