When manufacturers began tampering with Es, they would substitute the cheaper ingredient of amphetamine for MDMA. Then came a spell when pills were laced with a hint of barbiturate, followed by a short but nasty batch of Es containing ketamine, a devastating veterinary anaesthetic. A particularly sneaky substitute is something called MDA, a derivative of MDMA. Popular with drug dealers, it mimics the effects of its chemical cousin for the first 15 minutes but then, very suddenly, it's over - giving the unlucky clubber just enough of a glimpse to tempt them back to buy another. A typical dud pill nowadays contains little more than glucose and caffeine, but MDMA is still out there and the quality of Es varies widely, each new brand quickly acquiring a reputation on the club scene.
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