Gardaí 'particularly concerned' about new drug

The new drug is similar to ecstacy, pictured.

A warning has been issued about the dangers of a new drug connected with a number of deaths.

Gardaí have said that "there is a particular concern at this time" about a substance which has been found in ecstasy tablets in Ireland and across Europe recently.

At least two people have died after consuming the ecstasy-like substance, while others have been hospitalised.

One of the deaths being linked to the drug is that of a 16-year-old boy in Co Wexford.

The Gardaí said in a statement: "This substance is Paramethoxymethylamphetamine (PMMA) or Paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA). There have already been a number of deaths where this substance has been implicated in this jurisdiction."

The Health Service Executive says the green pills - with apple or rolex symbols - and white pills with a Mitsubishi logo are highly dangerous stimulants and should be avoided.

They said: "The reality is that even aside from the three aforementioned pills known at this time to contain PMMA other pills that come onto the illicit drug market may also contain this dangerous substance. PMMA has also been implicated in deaths in Ireland where it is known it was taken in powder form.

"Evidence has shown that the effect of this substance is different to MDMA as the onset of the drug is slower, meaning that people are known to take more to achieve the feeling that they may expect from traditional MDMA.

"This has led to rapidly increased heart rate, extremely high body temperatures, respiratory failure and sometimes death."

The HSE and Gardaí are going to continue to raise awareness with regard to the dangers of this substance and prevent any further tragic deaths.

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