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Friday, April 27, 2007

Warning about dangers of 'safe' alternative to ecstasy

Warning to clubbers over dangers of 'safe' alternative to ecstasy - Independent


"A teenage clubber who collapsed after taking a new dance-scene drug, which has been marketed as a "safe" alternative to ecstasy, is lucky to have survived, doctors report today.
The 18-year-old girl had taken the drug, benzylpiperazine, or BZP, at a London nightclub on a bank holiday weekend last May.

Shortly after swallowing five tablets, she collapsed and suffered a seizure lasting 10 minutes. She was taken by ambulance to hospital where she was given emergency treatment. Her pupils were dilated, her heart was racing at 156 beats per minute and her body temperature and blood pressure had plummeted."

"They warned colleagues to watch out for other young people suffering adverse reactions to the drug, which was legally available over the counter in the UK until last month.

The active ingredient in BZP is piperazine, which was developed in the Fifties as a worming medicine for veterinary use.

It has a similar chemical structure to amphetamine, a stimulant, and has become an increasingly popular alternative to ecstasy and amphetamines, being sold under names such as Pep Twisted, Legal E, Nemesis and Euphoria.

Last month, Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), made the unlicensed sale of the drug illegal."