The HSE can confirm that the emergency services in Cork were called to a house party on the south side of the city in the early hours of Tuesday morning. A number of young people were admitted to Cork University Hospital following the ingestion of a psychoactive substance. Details in relation to the substance consumed are not yet available but it is thought to have been one of the new psychoactive substances similar to those products previously sold in ‘Head-shops’.
These drugs can be sold in tablet powder or liquid form and are consumed at parties or clubs for their stimulant, mood altering and in some cases, aphrodisiac effect. However, it is generally reported that these drugs can have serious side effects both from a psychological and physical viewpoint. Such side effects include paranoia, hallucinations (both auditory and visual), gastrointestinal effects and kidney problems.
Young people are advised that there is no quality control on these drugs. There are problems with purity and contaminants, and there is no way of checking that what is purchased or consumed is the intended substance.
Given the serious side-effects experienced by the young people in Cork, the HSE Addiction services are issuing a warning about possible contaminated ‘party pills’ and advise people to not consume any unknown substances that they are offered at this time.