Alarm raised over 'herbal ecstasy'
August 10, 2008 12:00am
A "POTENTIALLY fatal" concoction marketed as a legal "ecstasy" and being sold in Melbourne is under investigation by authorities.
The Department of Human Services and the Therapeutic Goods Administration are testing products sold by Happy High Herbs and at Victorian rave parties, which are advertised as a safe alternative to illicit drugs.
A Sunday Herald Sun reporter bought two vials from one of the company's two outlets for $25 each last week.
Staff at the store said it was like a "herbal ecstasy".
They claimed the herbs, sold under the names Cherry Pop and Buzzz, gave users a rush of energy and a happy feeling for up to eight hours.
DHS spokesman Bram Alexander said Mental Health Minister Lisa Neville had asked for an investigation.
"The Government wants to be sure the products are not dangerous or illegal," he said.
Austin Hospital clinical toxicologist Dr Fergus Kerr said the herbs used in the products, produced by company Herbal Legal Highs, which could not be contacted for comment, could cause death, seizures, rapid heart rate, hypertension and abnormal muscle movement.
But owner of Happy High Herbs in St Kilda, Mark Thurling, said bad reactions would only occur if mixed with alcohol.