Lack of information sends drug-users online
PARTYGOERS are resorting to online forums for information about potentially deadly drugs.
Federal and state governments' Just Say No approach means there are no official resources that detail "bad batches" of drugs such as ecstasy.
Internet sites that allow users to warn each other about drugs' unwanted side effects are filling the information gap.
For example, in a posting about Green Ralph Lauren ecstasy tablets, available in Adelaide, "pixiehead" warns that she tried just a quarter ofa pill.
"After half an hour I felt like s. . . My heart was racing, I wasn't breathing properly, and I couldn't move properly," she said.
"If I had had the whole pill, I think I would of chucked and needed an ambulance. Just be really careful with these people, please."
The sites have strict policies against listing sources, dealers or prices and are linked to addiction counselling services.
Adelaide drug researcher Dr David Caldicott said it was inevitable that the drug-taking community– many of whom purchase drug-testing kits for personal use – would create a resource for themselves.
"These kids are testing their pills already, the only difference is that they're doing so in a vacuum of medical advice," he said.
Dr Caldicott said the most people using these sites were "university educated, affluent, independent, quite cynical young people with no regard for the `just say no' message".
"We haven't got an official government-sanctioned product for that group of the market that wants to use drugs," he said, adding that doctors and drug researchers often contributed to the sites, warning about foolish or potentially dangerous actions.
Drug and Alcohol Services SA clinical services director Associate Professor Robert Ali said giving out information about specific drugs was a "complicated issue" and that federal and state governments were concerned about sending the message that they were condoning drug use.
He said listing any drugs as unsafe could also give a "false sense of security" about drugs not listed.