Latest News > 03 Jun 12 - New Merseyside street drug could have lethal side-effects
Police are warning of a new and potentially lethal street drug they fear is being distributed from Merseyside to unsuspecting users across the UK.
Senior officers are urging people to be vigilant about the new drug - nicknamed “pink ecstasy.”
And they are particularly concerned the approaching long bank holiday could see a fatality as revellers mistake the pills for "party drug" ecstasy.
The pills are the same size and shape as an ecstasy tablet but are often pink instead of white and usually have the letter "M" on them, although the initials may vary.
Also known on the street "Dr Death" or "Pink McDonalds" the chemical is actually an amphetamine known as Paramethoxyamphetamine or "PMA".
The drug does not have the same effect or act as quickly as ecstasy and as a result users may be tempted to take more to achieve a high - putting themselves more at risk of an overdose.
Merseyside Police have information suggesting a batch of pink ecstasy with potential fatal consequences has been taken by people in other parts of the UK and is widely available across the Northwest.
Detectives from the Force Intelligence Bureau are working with other police forces across the UK and public health organisations to establish the full range of side effects of these tablets - and whether any drugs-related deaths in their areas are potentially linked.
Already, law enforcement officials in Ayr in Scotland have seized pink ecstasy as part of their own investigations.
Merseyside assistant chief constable Andy Cooke urged the public not to take any illegal substances, particularly resembling PMA or pink ecstasy, and called on people to help police track down distributors of the potentially life-threatening pills.
Mr Cooke said: "We have strong information to suggest that the tablets are being supplied by criminals here on Merseyside and ending up in the hands of young people in different parts of the country.
"Our investigation is focused on finding who is involved in the illegal supply of these drugs and taking both them, and the drugs they are peddling, out of circulation.
"A great deal of work is being done to share information with other police forces where they are investigating drug-related deaths to see if there is a link."
He continued: "We are also working closely with our colleagues in the health service to establish the full range of side effects this particular type of drug can have and make as many people possible aware of the risk they pose.
"We are about to start an extra long bank holiday weekend where a lot of people will be going out in their town or city for a good time and may come across tablets like this.
"I would urge them not to even think about taking them or sharing them with a friend.
"I would also call on the wider public to call if they have any information about who is distributing these drugs so that we can take them off the streets and prevent someone coming to serious harm."
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