the website of ......
South African Anti Drug Team
If not that serious send me an confidential e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
of the biggest dangers of using drugs is the issue of quality control. For
pure Ecstasy tablets are made of 100% MDMA. But so many pills keep coming out
with other substances in them. Some don’t have any MDMA in them at all. Even
with the same logo (e.g. Mitsubishis) can be very different since they come
different batches/manufacturers. Sometimes other chemicals and compounds are
substituted, some less harmless than others. This might to be to bulk out pure
the dealer can make more money. In this case, an inert bulking agent is usually
used, and the effect is a low intensity E trip and that ripped-off feeling. In
other cases, other drugs/
poisons such as DXM, Ketamine, Strychnine, Atropine and PMA have been found.
are used because they are more readily available or easier to produce. Some of
these are more dangerous than others. For instance with PMA, one dose produces
E-type feelings, but two doses can be fatal. And because it takes longer to
come on than E,
people tend to drop another thinking it’s a weak pill. There have been many
deaths in the
USA, Australia, Europe and South Africa due to PMA.
it should be the public health service that has pills properly tested and
Europe, the Dutch model has shown that one consequence of systematic testing is
introduce an element of ‘quality control’ into the ecstasy market, and
fatalities are minimal
as a result. However, due the illicit status of E, we have to work around this.
can we do to get a pill tested?
easiest way, but not the most thorough, is to do the testing yourself. There is
simple testing method available. This will help you find out what the pill
this test is limited, it will tell you wether or not the pill contains MDMA.
You should try and do
this test where you have the clarity of mind to do it properly in well-lit
conditions. It will also
be a good idea to share your results with others before the party or wherever
else you are
going to use it. The test can also be done at a club or rave, but in low light
conditions it can
be tricky to get reliable results.
do Testing Kits work?
‘home’ testing kits use a chemical solution called Marquis Reagent. This is
up of the chemicals formaldehyde, sulphuric acid and methanol. A drop of the
added to a scraping from a pill. The solution changes colour indicating the
MDMA or similar substances ( MDEA, MBDB, MDA), Methamphetamine and 2CB.
then compare the colour the liquid turns to an indexed Colour Chart. The testing
solution contains a strong corrosive chemical so you must be careful. If spilt,
with lots of water.
reliable are these Reagent test kits?
DIY testing kit is not in the same league as professional laboratory testing,
use a technique called gas chromatography. The home test can only indicate the
of the main active ingredient. It cannot give any indication of quantity or
ingredients. However, experienced testers in Holland claim that very subtle
pills can be detected, such as relative purity. The test is good for indicating
sold a complete dud or stuff like PMA.
are limitations with the test - for instance a pill containing PMA and MDMA will
positive for MDMA, and you won’t know there is PMA in it. Same goes for DXM,
can be very dangerous if taken together with MDMA. Although these combinations
occur, they are rare. It will also turn dark with other prescription drugs, so
it’s not entirely
reliable but many would say it’s ‘better than nothing’. The Marquis
Reagent doesn’t last
forever either. The agent can go off in as little as six months, although if
it’s kept in a dark
glass bottle, this may help to extend its shelf life.
If you test shows up MDMA or a variant,
it does not mean that other harmful
substances are not in there because the test is not looking for them. But
manufacturers do not mix PMA and MDMA.
it legal to test pills? It is legal to
possess an ecstasy testing kit. It is, of course,
illegal to possess ecstasy. Be discreet when testing in an open venue such as a
or festival - it would be illegal for you to test a pill, find out it contained
substances and then hand it back to the person. You could be arrested for
that the pill-owner scrapes a sample off their pill themselves, rather than
handing you the pill. You will need to be responsible about handing over any
instrument to do it with, especially if they are jittery or completely out of
There are manufaturers adding poison:
are manufacturers of drugs adding rat poison and battery acid.