Virtually half of all capsules offered at UK festivals final 12 months contained no MDMA

An “unprecedented shift” within the drug market – primarily brought on by a mixture of Brexit and Covid lockdowns – has led to a pointy enhance in pretend MDMA.

New analysis led by criminologists and chemists, based mostly on fieldwork carried out by drug-checking charity The Loop, discovered that 45 per cent of samples offered as MDMA examined at English festivals final summer time contained no MDMA in any respect, and have been as a substitute made up of drugs like cathinones (a psychoactive substance much like amphetamine) and caffeine.

They discovered the presence of MDMA in samples offered as MDMA fell from 93 per cent in 2019 to 55 per cent in 2021. The report additionally highlights analysis from the hurt discount challenge Wedinos, which present in 2021 that one-third of samples they analysed didn’t comprise MDMA.

The rise of ‘fake’ MDMA is basically down to 2 elements: Brexit and Covid. Essentially, a scarcity of lorry drivers and subsequent discount in Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) transporting objects throughout the UK is affecting provides of some unlawful substances, whereas COVID lockdowns led to many MDMA suppliers halting manufacturing. Now that golf equipment and festivals are open once more, suppliers are struggling to maintain up with demand.

“This study illustrates how cathinones are mis-sold as MDMA during periods of scarcity in the MDMA market,” explains Dr Michael Pascoe, a Cardiff University analysis affiliate and co-lead writer of the research.

“COVID-19 lockdowns and the shutdown of UK nightlife led to a slump in demand for ‘party drugs’ and suppliers scaled back production. Then, as UK nightlife re-opened ahead of other European countries, demand outpaced supply. This was compounded by Brexit-related supply chain disruptions affecting distribution. During this unprecedented turbulence in the drug market, substances that look like MDMA were mis-sold to unknowing customers.”

The report provides that the rise in pretend MDMA “poses additional unknown risks to the health of people who use illicit drugs”. Side results of cathinones can embody panic, psychosis and extended insomnia.

If you determine to take medicine this summer time, The Loop advises testing your medicine the place potential, ingesting small portions, looking in your pals, and search assist in case you or a buddy feels unwell. You can even observe The Loop on Twitter for drug alert updates and recommendation.

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