A warning has been issued for ‘blue superman’ pills being sold as ecstasy. The pills caused nearly a dozen people to be hospitalized last weekend with overdose-like symptoms, and several more to be admitted to emergency rooms.
According to authorities, the pills being sold as ecstasy or MDMA actually contain a potent depressant similar to alprazolam, more commonly known as Xanax.
“We are talking about a potent and fast-acting form of benzodiazepine,” said Dr Craig Sadler, director of the alcohol and drug unit at Calvary Mater Newcastle and Hunter New England Health.
“This particular supply of illicit pills is being sold as something that it is not.”
The danger lies in mixing this particular blend of pressed pill with alcohol, as the mixture presents a high danger when used in conjunction with other depressants, such as benzodiazepines. People who had been admitted after taking the pills were reported to have “declined rapidly and suffered varying levels of consciousness.”
At least one suffered seizures.
All patients eventually recovered and were discharged from hospital.
“It is very real problem if people are taking these pills thinking they are a stimulant,” said Dr Sadler.
“We want people to aware that what they are being sold, is not what the pills are. They should not be taken.”
The patients, ten men and one woman, were aged between 18 and 34.
The exact number is not known, but several other people were treated in Hunter hospitals since Tuesday after taking the pills.