The Null Device

According to the Victorian police, 95% of the "ecstasy" in Australia is fake, containing no MDMA and god only knows what. This is because of Customs stopping most shipments of the real stuff.

So what's in these tablets? Amphetamine is the main ingredient, says Quinn, "but in an attempt to mimic some of the effects of real ecstasy - euphoria, increased energy, pleasurable rushes, feelings of empathy, dreaminess and a hallucinogenic-like glow - producers of the fake pills typically combine various stimulants, hallucinogens and sedatives, depending on what chemicals they have access to... We're also seeing paracetamol; the stimulants pseudoephedrine and ephedrine; and heroin, codeine and cocaine all mixed up in the one tablet. And we've found tiny pieces of LSD tickets pressed inside tablets. We're finding benzodiazepines Temazepam, Diazepam, and Rohypnol, which are all sedatives. There's sometimes caffeine. We've also found Promethazine, a motion-sickness medication, which makes you feel woozy, cloudy, dissociated."

(Which sounds like a good argument for legalising and regulating the substance, like tobacco, in the name of harm minimisation. If there's a market for MDMA, give the buyers something that won't kill them and put the criminals who make fake pills out of business. Unless one accepts the neo-Darwinian argument that people who take recreational drugs with unknown long-term effects are unfit to consume resources and pass on their genes and are best culled from the gene pool.)

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