‘Avoid at all costs’: Fears as three women hospitalised by new drug
POLICE have launched a major probe to track the source of a quantity of "black MDMA" which left three women seriously ill in hospital after taking it during a house party in Innisfail.
It is alleged the substance was purchased by the women, aged 19 and 20, from someone at a local Innisfail pub and consumed during a small gathering at a private home on Saturday night.
The trio's friends became so concerned by their adverse reactions they called for help and all three were treated in Innisfail Hospital, including one who stayed overnight.
The substance is believed to be a contaminated version of MDMA, not seen in the Far North before, with even senior detectives baffled as to its origin.
It has been sent for testing to examine the contents, while packaging and other materials also being examined to try and determine the source.
MDMA typically has a street value between $150 and $300 per gram and it is understood the contaminated version fetched around the same price.
A 20-year-old Cullinane man has been charged with three counts of drug supply, one count of possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime and other minor drug offences.
He is due to appear in court next month.
Innisfail police Det Sgt Steve Bull said nationally there had been a number of deaths linked to MDMA in the party scene and this contaminated version of the substance was a concern.
"We'll send it away for analysis but that will take a few months to determine what it was contaminated with," he said.
"It's lucky there wasn't more serious harm caused.
"We're not immune to it in small communities."
Far North police Det Acting Insp Jason Smith said the incident should serve as a community warning and asked anyone who came into contact with the substance to contact police.
"We're very concerned that this drug is not safe to take," he said.
"At this stage I'm very concerned that this drug is in Far North Queensland.
"I urge anyone to avoid it at all costs."
Originally published as 'Avoid at all costs': Fears as three women hospitalised by new drug