Cheap, deadly ecstasy pills hit streets
ECSTASY pills are getting cheaper and more dangerous, a new national study has revealed.
The drug's street price in Western Australia alone dropped for the first time last year to hit a new low, Perth Now
The National Drug Research Institute said that an ecstasy pill in Western Australia cost on average $35, $5 less than in 2008, after years of stable prices.
Survey results also showed that young users were taking the party drug more often and in bigger quantities.
A study of 100 regular users found the number who binged on the drug rose from 22 per cent in 2008 to 40 per cent in 2009.
Daniel Fatovich, an emergency medicine specialist at Royal Perth Hospital, warned that cheaper prices meant more Western Australians could afford multiple pills, increasing the risk of overdoses.
The drop in Perth's ecstasy price was the first recorded by researchers for the national Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System, which monitors trends in the drug's price, purity and availability.
The 2009 survey also found while other drugs were in decline, ecstasy was more popular. The majority of users took at least two pills a night.
Ecstasy purity also fluctuated, with pills now more likely to contain harmful substances.
Detective superintendent Charlie Carver, of the Serious and Organised Crime Squad, said many seized ecstasy pills contained harmful chemicals such as chalk and washing powder.
There was a significant drop last year in the use of speed, crystal methamphetamine and cocaine.
* By Todd Cardy and Anthony Deceglie
* From: NewsCore
* January 24, 2010 3:17AM
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