Health bosses have warned a more deadly drug, similar to ecstasy, is being sold on the streets of Doncaster.
Public Health officials say the pills are another illegal substance which could be even more dangerous to users.
I would advise against using illicit substances because no one can be sure of what is in the drugAndy Maddison, public health improvement coordinator
PMMA, or PMA, has been sold in pill form since 2010, but is much riskier to take than the MDMA usually found in ecstasy because it can take longer to take effect – which can lead to people overdosing.
Andy Maddison, public health improvement coordinator, said: “Both of these drugs have been implicated in a number of hospitalisations and deaths.
“Locally we have no confirmed deaths or hospitalisations as a result of these drugs or of high content MDMA pills but during the period 2010-15 there have been 74 recorded PMA/PMMA and 145 ecstasy/MDMA related deaths in England and Wales.”
In the last three years, there has also been a sharp increase in the amount of MDMA included in ecstasy pills, leaving users more vulnerable than ever.
Mr Addison added: “There is evidence that there has been a rise in use of ecstasy nationally and it would be fair to suggest that Doncaster is part of this trend.
“The drug has always been closely associated with clubs, but the use of MDMA is not solely contained within this demographic.”
He also warned people against taking ecstasy or any other illegal drug but said if people wanted to do so they should make sure they take steps to try and ensure their safety as far as possible.
“I advise anyone against using illicit substances mainly because no one can be sure of what is in the drug.
“There are a number of dangers commonly associated with the use of ecstasy; such as hyperthermia, heat-stroke and over-heating.
“Many ecstasy users are aware of this and feel the need to make sure they are drinking enough water to stay cool, but as a result can suffer from over-hydration which causes risks of its own and can also result in death.
“If you do choose to use these drugs you should not consume any more than one pint of water per hour, and eat salty snacks to maintain your bodies salt levels.”
There are currently around 2,000 adults receiving treatment from Aspire – Doncaster’s drug and alcohol services for adults.
n Young people or carers can ring Project 3 Young Persons Health and Wellbeing Service on 01302 640032 for advice and support. Adults can ring 01302 730956.