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You never know what is really in a pill or powder, or the effect it will have on you.

Pills and powders contain unknown substances, and at unknown doses.

Pills sold as ‘ecstasy’, ‘molly’, or ‘MDMA’ may not contain any MDMA, and often contain substances with toxic or undesirable effects.

Drugs affect people differently from person to person, so some people are more susceptible to harmful/toxic effects, even at low doses.

Harms from drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, and other amphetamine-like substances include hyperthermia (high body temperature), mental agitation, and seizures which can lead to brain damage and death. Toxicity may be worse if you are hot and dehydrated.

The best way to avoid drug related harms is not to use. However if you do use:

(1) Don’t mix substances (including energy drinks). All types of drugs, including prescribed medicines, caffeine, and alcohol, interact with one another.

(2) Don’t use alone. Tell people you are with that you are using. Party with a ‘sober’ person. Use the buddy system.

Stay hydrated with sports drinks or non-caffeinated soda pop. Avoid drinking too much plain water as this can also lead to problems. Drink to thirst.

(3) Know how and where to get help if necessary (there may be limited cellular reception at some festivals).

Get medical help immediately if you or a friend experience one or more of the following symptoms: agitation, dizziness, confusion, bizarre behaviour, chest pain, headache, feeling unusually hot, breathlessness, excessive drowsiness, or seizures.

(4) If you seek medical attention, try to be as open and honest as possible with medical staff. If possible, bring in any remaining samples of the substance used. Disclosing all information pertaining to the substances used (especially combination use) helps enormously with medical treatment. This information helps to guide subsequent healthcare and is important since some agents used for medical treatment may interact with consumed products resulting in un-wanted and unexpected effects.)