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Festivals, News

Chasing Summer festivalgoers warned of 'deadly' drug use

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DH Calgary Staff Jul 28, 2016 8:49 am

As EDM fans get ready for the huge Chasing Summer Festival this weekend in Calgary, police have issued a warning about the dangers of using amphetamines at music festivals.

In a release, Calgary Police Service and Alberta Health Services say that MDMA (ecstasy) and PMMA (Red Mitsubishi) can be fatal for festivalgoers.

“Hot environments and dehydration only further increase this risk,” said Dr. Nick Etches, Medical Officer of Health for Calgary. “In simple terms: the body begins to overheat, from the inside.”

But, Etches said, drinking lots of water isn’t necessarily a solution.

“Drinking too much or too little water can also alter the concentration of salt in the body, which can lead to brain swelling and may be fatal,” said Etches.

“Needless to say: we want people to enjoy these music events, without these consequences.”

Zero tolerance at Chasing Summer

According to the release, in August last year, 17 partygoers at one music festival alone were hospitalized with drug-related problems.

Chasing Summer’s website makes it clear the organizers have a zero-tolerance approach to street drugs; anyone intoxicated will be refused entry, anyone using will be prosecuted.

“There simply is no such thing as a safe street drug, or a test that can guarantee the drug you are taking is what your dealer says it is,” says Calgary Police Service Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta.

“Deadly synthetic drugs may be contained within any pill, powder, or tablet you consume.”

Symptoms and getting help

An amphetamine overdose can cause liver, kidney, heart failure, or death. Here are the symptoms of an MDMA (ecstasy) or PMMA (Red Mitsubishi) overdose:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramping/twitching
  • Involuntary teeth clenching
  • Blurred vision
  • Fast and irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Dehydration

For more information about MDMA (ecstasy), check the Alberta Health Services website here, or for PMMA, check the Alberta Health Services website here.

If you have been affected by drug use, you can get support by calling any of the listed helplines on the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse website.


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DH Calgary Staff
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