Dangerous drug circulates at Belgian festival

Dangerous drug circulates at Belgian festival
Credit: Belga

As festivals open up again so too does the possibility of drugs. Belgian Dance festival Extrema Outdoor, near Hasselt close to the Dutch border, previously warned against a particularly dangerous ecstasy pill. Now, the Limburg public prosecutor's office followed suit.

The drug in question is a pink pill in the form of 'Super Mario' and contains no less than 300 milligrams of MDMA.

"This amount is 4 times higher than a normal ecstasy pill. An ecstasy pill is very dangerous from a level of 125 milligrams. Last year, a festival visitor, in his 50s, died in Houthalen-Helchteren after ingesting a dangerous ecstasy pill," said the Liburg public prosecutor.

What is MDMA

MDMA is an illegal substance that gained popularity in the 1980s with young adults using it at parties and festivals, according to MedicalNewsToday. While the MDMA can cause a temporary state of euphoria and increased energy, users can experience adverse after-affects such as insomnia, decreased appetite and irritability.

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The substance is produced in a laboratory and doesn't come from natural sources. It works by increasing production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, the brain’s neurotransmitters, which influence mood, sleep, and appetite.

Research suggests that MDMA can be addictive and cause cognitive problems. Taking too much can cause health issues and even result in death.

Below are key facts about MDMA

  • MDMA is seen as a safe party drug, but its effects can be lethal
  • Tablets sold as pure ecstasy can contain highly toxic additives.
  • MDMA can interfere with how the body regulates temperature, and it can raise the heart rate to dangerous levels.
  • The adverse after-effects of ecstasy can be felt for up to a week, possibly longer.

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