Victoria coroner calls for pill testing after investigating deaths of five men

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The Victoria coroner has recommended that the state government urgently introduce drug testing for the first time, after five young men died who thought they were taking MDMA.

WARNING: This story contains details which may be distressing for some readers.

The men, aged 16 to 32, died in five separate incidents between 2016 and 2017, after ingesting what contained a dangerous combination of two new psychoactive substances.

The results revealed that each of the men acted erratically after taking the drugs, including head butting on walls and furniture, and had hallucinations and paranoia.

One of the men jumped to his death from a balcony on the 10th floor of his apartment in Melbourne’s CBD.

Coroner Paresa Spanos called on the Victoria Department of Health to urgently set up a public service to verify the content and purity of illegal drugs.

“As long as illicit drug use exists in the community, Victorians will continue to be exposed to the risks of unregulated drug markets,” she said.

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“The well-functioning drug early warning systems internationally, coupled with submissions from those working in harm minimization, have demonstrated that these evidence-based interventions can save lives. . “

It follows the recommendation of the New South Wales coroner who recommended that pill testing be carried out in New South Wales in 2019 after an inquest into the drug-related deaths of six young people aged 18. at 23 at music festivals for two summers.

James had never ‘felt a trip like this before’

Last year, the Victoria Court of Coroners investigated the deaths of Jordan, James, Ilker, Jason and Anson.

In all five cases, the men were unaware they were consuming the deadly psychoactive substance which was a combination of a synthetic hallucinogenic 25C-NBOMe and a stimulant known as 4-fluoroamphetamine.

James, who was 23, took a capsule of what he thought was MDMA in his Melbourne CBD apartment in January 2017.

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“He started to act erratically and went on to say he had ‘never felt such a trip before’ and continued to apologize for being naked while fully clothed,” according to the results.

“At about 4 am, as four others were talking on the tenth floor balcony, James walked over to the balcony, said ‘fuck that’ before jumping over the railing without hesitation.

James fell on the scaffolding of an adjoining construction site.

Emergency services were called but James died at the scene.

Anson had an epileptic attack and died of cardiac arrest

Six months earlier, 16-year-old Anson went to his friend’s house and sniffed a powder through a coiled note, with extreme symptoms half an hour later.

“Anson seemed to have a ‘flashback’ or thought he was running away from something, he called out ‘boys, stop’ then ‘no no no’ and fell back on the bed and had a seizure that lasted. about ten minutes ”, According to the results.

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“After the seizure was over, Anson started coughing and choking, then threw up. He called for water several times and continued to bump against the headboard.

The coroner said a drug testing center would help save lives. Photo: Supplied / NT Police

His friends called paramedics after Anson smashed his arm through a window and suffered a severe gash in his elbow, which kept bleeding.

He eventually died in the emergency room at Sunshine Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

Jordan died on Christmas morning in 2016, three days after taking the drugs at a friend’s house.

Jason suffered numerous seizures after inhaling a powder and was unable to be resuscitated in January 2017.

And Ilker died in similar circumstances after falling unconscious sometime after using drugs in December 2016.

Lifeline 13 11 14
beyond blue 1300 22 4636

-TBEN

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