HSE urges caution about drug users taking a brown powder substance in the Cork area known to contain Methylenedioxy-N-Methylamphetamine (MDMA),also know as 'Ecstasy', and Para-Methoxy-N-methylamphetamine (PMMA).
Health professionals are asked to be vigilant in relation to a brown powder substance in the Cork area known to contain MDMA and PMMA and the public are advised that the misuse of drugs carries serious health risks particularly when other drugs including alcohol are taken in combination.
Recent studies have shown that three in five overdoses involved more than one drug or substance. Many drug users take different substances together. This increases the risk of overdose as there may be synergistic interactions between the substances used, which could potentially increase their toxicity. For example, when alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids are consumed together the risk of respiratory depression is increased.
Gardaí have confirmed that the product containing MDMA and PMMA may have been a factor in the recent tragic deaths of two men in Kinsale.
A photograph of what this drug may look like is attached at the bottom of the page.
David Lane, HSE South Addiction Services said that "there are practical steps that drug users can take to prevent overdose as follows:
- Understand your tolerance and be aware of when it might be lower (e.g. when you have not been using for a while)
- Avoid mixing drugs and mixing drugs with alcohol
- Recognise that medications prescribed by a doctor may interact with street drugs and cause an overdose
- Injecting drugs increases your risk of overdose
- Injecting drugs is always a risk but can be even more so with an unfamiliar supply source
If someone gets into difficulty after consuming a substance it is critically important to get help immediately by calling the emergency services. Symptoms associated with the above substance include high fever, rapid heart rate and agitation.
The HSE South is alerting medical professionals in the region along with community/ voluntary groups working with drug users on this issue and is liasing closely with the Gardaí on this matter.