Friday, March 20, 2009


This drug looks very similar and has been sold as ecstasy. The effects are much the same as an E, but PMA is much stronger and can cause a fatal rise in body temperature. The effects of PMA also take longer to happen. Some users have taken a fatal overdose by mistakenly taking pill after pill thinking nothing is happening. There are a number of ‘designer’ or ecstasy-like drugs on the market and others are likely to be developed. PMA provides a model as to how this may increase risks especially when substituted unknowingly for ecstasy with somewhat different properties. Such drugs are likely to have limited availability at certain times.

Street names for drugs can vary around the country. Chicken yellow, chicken fever, double stacked, mitsubishi turbo, red mitsubishi, killer, para-methoxyampethamine, paramethoxymethyamphetamine, PMMA.

The effects
Similar to ecstasy.

Chances of getting hooked
PMA is not particularly addictive but it’s possible to build up a tolerance (which means people need to take more PMA tabs to get the same level of buzz). Some psychological dependence can probably develop (with an increased desire to keep taking the drug even in spite of its potential harm).

Appearance and use
PMA is usually a white pressed tablet. They're often underscored, 7mm in diameter and 6mm thick. They weigh about 230mg. Unusually thick compared to ecstasy; they've been nicknamed 'double stacked'. Like ecstasy, PMA is swallowed.

Not enough is known about the purity of PMA. If it's being sold as ecstasy it's likely the pills are being cut with cheaper ingredients like amphetamine (i.e. speed), caffeine and starch. PMA is much stronger than ecstasy and sometimes mixed with it.

The risks
* As little as a quarter of a tablet (60mg) is enough to significantly increase blood pressure, body temperature and pulse rates.
*PMA can cause muscle spasms and lots of people feel very sick after taking it.
*The long term risks associated with PMA have yet to be studied but they're likely to be similar to ecstasy.
*PMA is stronger than ecstasy so the risk of overheating is greater. If you feel your temperature soaring on the dance floor seek help immediately.
*Watch out for your mates. People can get so out of their faces they don't realise they're in danger of overheating or dehydration.
*Drinking too much water can also be dangerous or even fatal. PMA can cause the body to release a hormone which suppresses the production of urine. This means that if you drink a few pints of liquid too quickly, water builds up in the body and interferes with your body's salt balance. This can directly affect the brain and this can be as deadly as not drinking enough water.
*Anyone using too much can get paranoid and depressed.
* Some long-term users report getting colds, flu and sore throats more often.
*Anyone with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction to the drug.
* Not enough is known about the effects PMA can have on pregnancy and the developing foetus.

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