Experts Warn Clubbers Of Identical Pills That Contain Different Drugs

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 20 Sep 2021 19:07
Experts Warn Clubbers Of Identical Pills That Contain Different DrugsThe Loop/Alamy

Clubbers have been warned by drug testing charity The Loop that there are a set of identical pills going round that contain different drugs.

The charity issued the warning after the drugs were found at Parklife festival in Manchester, and advised against clubbers assuming they are buying the same pills they have previously taken.


The set of four pills, despite perhaps having the same logo and shape, have been tested and found to be made up of completely different drugs.

The occurrence of the dodgy pills follows news of an MDMA shortage in the UK, according to the BBC

Professor Fiona Measham, director of The Loop, told Newsbeat that when tested, the four differently-coloured pharaoh pills ‘although identical in pressing’ had ‘four different contents’. ‘Only one contained what people probably wanted, MDMA,’ she said.


Measham, who is also the chair of criminology at Liverpool University, explained how this could result in very different experiences due to people buying the pill again after having an ‘ok experience’, but in reality ending up buying a pill with ‘totally different contents’.

She advised that pills should be tested if possible and that pill-takers should ‘always have a tiny, tiny dose and wait a couple of hours to see the effect before having more.’ Although, Measham stressed the best advice in order to stay safe would be to not to take the drugs at all.

The Loop tested one pill and found that one substance within it was eutylone, which is ‘potent’ and can last ‘up to 24 hours’. Measham told the BBC how it can feel a ‘little bit like MDMA’, which tricks users into taking more, but then it moves onto a ‘stimulant phase’ causing paranoia, anxiety and even psychosis.


Since Brexit, there has been a shift in how drugs have been sold in the UK.

Measham said:

It’s difficult to overstate how much the drug market has changed since lockdown, Covid and Brexit.

Partly because of Brexit there is a lack of road haulage and lorry drivers and this has meant for example shortages to milkshakes for McDonald’s, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see similar disruptions to illegal supply chains.

She concluded by warning that dealers have been ‘filling pills with whatever they can get to hand’, which has put drug-takers at even more of a risk of harm.


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Topics: News, Drugs


  1. BBC

    Experts warn of identical pills containing different drugs in the UK