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Police in Adelaide, Australia are warning the public after a "bad batch" of MDMA, a.k.a. "ecstasy" has led to a bizarre series of drug hospitalizations. At least 21 people have been admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with symptoms of seizures, hallucinations, and psychotic behaviour. One of the people admitted is in critical condition and fighting for his life. The father of one of the people admitted described seeing his son, "strapped into the bed with his feet and hands, yelling uncontrollably, frothing at the mouth and didn’t recognise anyone," in an interview with local media.
Among the bizarre incidents occuring over the past few days which have been linked to ecstasy use include: ne person reportedly acting "like a chicken" in a taxicab while another person was seen licking the floor of a nightclub. There have also been incidents of suspected drug users stripping naked and rubbing their bodies on the road surface to relieve extreme itching while another person went swimming in the Torrens river. Police have also seen a rise in violence and people reporting hallucinations which have been linked to ecstasy use.
While ecstasy remains a popular recreational drug in many of Adelaide's nightclubs, drug experts are warning that new synthetic drugs are leading to greater variability in how people react to what they are taking.
Due to concerns over the sharp increase in ecstasy cases over the weekend, Adelaide police have assigned more officers to the city beat. A 21-year old man has been arrested with more than 30 ecstasy tablets in his possession but it is not clear whether they are linked to the current wave of ecstasy hospitalizations. He has since been charged with drug dealing.
According to Police Superintendent Anthony Fioravanti, "We are concerned about the content of the tablets and we have analysis being fast-tracked." He added that the suspect ecstasy has been linked to sales in a number of local nightclubs.
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