WARNINGS have been issued by police and health authorities, after recreational drug users have died or been hospitalised in Derbyshire.
Community Safety and Public Health partnerships issued the warning after a series of drug busts revealed that some users have been conned into buying the the wrong substance.
Toxicology tests have shown that PMA paramethoxymethyamphetamine, or para-methoxymethyamphetamine has been a significant factor in these deaths although inquests have not yet been held.
PMA is often being sold as Ecstasy but it is much stronger and far more toxic.
It has also been sold as amphetamine powder.
Mick Burrows, Derbyshire County Council’s senior public health commissioning manager, said: “It takes time for PMA to work which sometimes leads users to re-dose or take other drugs on top. Death can occur when a user believes they are consuming recreational doses of MDMA, when they are, in fact, consuming a lethal dose of another substance with similar effects. In overdose, time is precious so it is vital that an ambulance is called straight away.”