Sadly, perhaps the most important news to report today, on what should be a day for celebration in our community – International Drug Users Day (on the 1st of November), is a contamination issue that has gone global, affecting ecstasy. INPUD has just released this information sheet for circulation on the contamination of ecstasy by the chemical PMA and the subsequent tragic deaths that have resulted, covering what you can do to stay informed and protect yourself. Here is an introduction to the issue from the document PMA_Warning_INPUD_Oct2013_v.1 (1) available for printout or link it to your website. Help yourself to information for dissemination amongst the using community but please credit INPUD.
PMA Contaminated Ecstasy and MDMA Alert for MDMA and Ecstasy Users
If you use ecstasy and/or MDMA, you cannot afford to think of this as one of those things that happens to other people. There is lots of misinformation going around, and people using uppers, ecstasy, and MDMA need some straightforward facts.
Deaths caused by ecstasy contaminated with the drug para-Methoxyamphetamine (PMA) have increased substantially over the last two years. The Office for National Statistics records no PMA deaths in 2008, 2009, and 2010 in England and Wales, up to a recorded one death in 2011 to around twenty deaths in 2012.
This trend has continued into 2013. There have been media and police reports that in recent months, a man has died in Manchester, with several people additionally requiring hospitalisation, and there were more reported deaths in Manchester towards the beginning of the year; in addition, at least two people have died this year in Cheshire, further people have died in the North of England, in Oxford, and in Hampshire, and we aware of numerous people who have mistakenly taken PMA in London. Deaths have been recorded in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the USA (several states), Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Australia.
If you use ecstasy and/or MDMA, you cannot afford to think of this as one of those things that happens to other people. There is lots of misinformation going around, and people using uppers, ecstasy, and MDMA need some straightforward facts
What is PMA?
PMA is a dangerous compound. Using it has substantial negatives, not the least of which are high morbidity and high mortality, and there is little by way of psychoactive positives to justify these downsides. This is different from uncontaminated MDMA, which is substantially safer to the individual using the drug than many other psychoactive substances, including alcohol and tobacco (its Class A status is nonsensical as an indicator of harm).
Most people are not deliberately buying and taking PMA in greater numbers; instead the ecstasy they are using, the active ingredient of which is ideally MDMA, has been contaminated. The reasons for this contamination are unclear, but it is possible that a precursor to the synthesis of PMA is easier to acquire than a precursor to MDMA.
Regardless of the reason, the fact is that people are dying due to taking a drug they did not intend to take. (continued by clicking link below)
PMA_Warning_INPUD_Oct2013_v.1 (1) (INPUD’s information Sheet)