NSW Health released an alert regarding high and variable dose MDMA (ecstasy) tablets named blue superman. These tablets were found at a NSW music festival in December 2021.
MDMA is the drug originally called ecstasy. It belongs to a family of drugs called entactogens, which means “touching within.” Other drugs in this category include MDA, MDE and MBDB.
How can I avoid MDMA related harms?
If you plan on using MDMA we have a few tips to avoid the risk of related harms:
- Start with small doses and be on the lookout for adverse or unusual effects. Don’t re-dose until you’re sure you’re not experiencing adverse effects. Continue to use in small doses to minimise the risk of harm. There is an increased risk of harm as the dose increases.
- Never dose alone. Always use with friends so you can look out for each other
- Look out for your friends: it’s hard to notice your own symptoms.
- Minimise polydrug use: avoid other hallucinogenic drugs, like mushrooms or LSD, and other stimulants, like amphetamine and methamphetamine.
- Hot and humid weather will also increase the risk, as MDMA causes the body to dangerously overheat.
- MDMA (ecstasy) is often poorly manufactured and the amount of MDMA in a tablet or capsule can vary a lot, even within the same batch.
- A standard recreational dose is 0.7mg-1.25mg MDMA per kg of body weight. Blue Superman has been tested at average dose of 164mg. To understand what dose is suitable someone weighing 70kg is 70-87.5mg—Be extra cautious when weighing powders, use scales displaying 3DP.
‘Pill Testing’/Drug Checking: Lab-quality testing has been trialled in Australia and is not available as a health service yet, but DIY reagent testing is an option. Mandolin, Marquis, Mecke and other reagents produce reactions with MDMA.
Effects to look out for
Feeling really hot, light headedness, rigid muscles, confusion or agitation, racing pulse/heart, feeling aggressive, uncontrolled repetitive movements, vomiting, seizures, difficult to rouse/unconscious.
What to do in case of unexpected side effects
- Get (medical) help immediately if you or someone else experience any unexpected effects or display symptoms listed above. If you are at a venue, attract the attention of medical or security staff. If in a private setting, call 000.
- Ask for an ambulance and you will be connected to a control centre for Ambulance NSW. A control centre assistant will ask you a standard set of questions. Answer their questions in a calm and clear manner. Once you have answered all questions, do not hang up the phone, stay on the line and follow any instructions that they give you.
- While you wait for help, try to reduce stimulation like music, light, loud noises, give the person space.
Support and advice
For free and confidential advice:
- Call Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015 at any time 24/7. Start a Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5pm.
- Call the NSW Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for information on adverse effects from drugs.
- Visit Your Room for fact sheets and other resources.
- Visit Pivot Point for further drug information and other resources for LGBTQ community.