A 17-year-boy has died after allegedly taking MDMA at a house party in Preston.
Following the death of teenager Harry Flood yesterday morning (Sunday, June 23), Lancashire Police are urging people to consider the risks of taking MDMA.
But what is MDMA?
According to drugs education charity FRANK, MDMA is a popular club drug, more commonly known as ecstasy.
What does it look like?
MDMA can be taken in pill or powder form. When it is a powder it is called by its chemical name, MDMA, but it is the same drug as ecstasy.
Ecstasy pills can be white, coloured, round, square or pressed into any shape. Some pills have designs stamped into them, like well known company logos that the pills are then named after.
Ecstasy powder looks like white/grey crystals and is called MDMA, Mandy or MD.
What does it taste/smell like?
Ecstasy pills are usually swallowed and MDMA is usually rubbed (dabbed) into the user’s gums. They both taste bitter and unpleasant.
READ MORE: Suspected drug death of boy, 17, in Preston
How do people take it?
Ecstasy pills are usually swallowed, although some people crush them up and snort them. The amount of MDMA in ecstasy pills can vary, with some pills actually containing other, more dangerous drugs.
For this reason, drugs education charity FRANK warns that people should never take a whole pill in one go, even if they have taken ecstasy before.
Drinking too much (including water) can also be dangerous.
People usually take MDMA powder by dabbing it onto their gums or by swallowing it wrapped in a cigarette paper, which is sometimes called ‘bombing’.
Like with pills, drinking too much (including water) can also be dangerous.
How do it make you feel?
Ecstasy can make people feel more in tune with their surroundings and music can seem more intense, which is why people sometimes take it in nightclubs and at parties.
But users have also reported suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, paranoia and even psychosis after taking ecstasy.
Physical health risks
Use of ecstasy has been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems.
Some users also report getting colds and sore throats more often when they take ecstasy.
People with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can experience very dangerous reactions to the drug.
Mental health risks
Evidence suggests that long-term users can suffer from memory problems and may develop depression and anxiety.
What does the law say about MDMA?
MDMA (ecstasy) is a Class A drug, which means it is illegal to take, give away or sell.
Possession can get you up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Supplying someone else, even friends, can get you life in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Like drink-driving, driving when high is dangerous and illegal. If you are re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence.
If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a home, club, bar or hostel, they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any other person concerned in the management of the premises.
For information about the dangers of taking drugs, including MDMA, visit Talk to Frank at www.talktofrank.com