Over the weekend, a bad batch of drugs made it into Melbourne's southside clubs. 20 people were hospitalised, and police are investigating three drug-related fatalities. A 30-year-old Frenchman was charged with trafficking MDMA, after being identified by the friend of a woman who'd suffered a seizure on the drugs he'd sold her. Police are trying to trace the supply chain upwards, but for now, they're certain there's more in the hands of other dealers, and they expect it to pop up in the CBD soon.
Jack* suspects he was among those who took the dodgy batch over the weekend. He suffers from Bipolar disorder, but in the past, his condition hadn't stopped him experimenting with drugs. He's been okay—until last weekend. Here, Jack tells us his experience on what he believes to be the dodgy batch, and how pill testing could've helped on Melbourne's Chapel St that night.
VICE: How did you get your hands on these drugs?
Jack: I was at a kick-on. My mate had got a batch from someone. They said it was from the internet, you know, the Dark Web. My friend wasn't selling them, he was just trying them out, so I asked for some. Next thing I know, I'm in the club getting schizophrenic. I've sort of been in that headspace before, having Bipolar, and the drugs totally brought on the same feelings.
Did you let your friend know something was up?
Yeah, he asked what it was like. I just said, "Man this is intense." I mean, I haven't done anything like this before. As it kicked in some security guards came up to me, took me out of the club and said "we've got complaints about you, you're too cooked. You're running around being crazy." And they were right, I was getting this paranoia, thinking people were scheming and plotting against me. Total schizophrenia.
My mate was really pissed off: whoever had sold it to him hadn't given what was promised. It was meant to be MDMA, but he decided it must have been MDA. He was really disappointed and scared for my wellbeing. He was like, "I'm not selling this shit," and threw it out. Then he kept an eye on me for the rest of the night.
Did you start to panic?
I'm definitely lucky I didn't take two. If I'd taken two I don't know if I'd be here. It was just turbo and I was getting waves of anxiety. I've experienced a lot of psychotic episodes in my life, so I know how to deal with these sort of harmful thoughts. I can say to myself, "I've been here before, this is bullshit, this is the drugs talking right now." For people who haven't experienced that before, I don't know how they would've been able to handle it.
A lot of the talk is about the bad batch is aimed at Revolver.
No, it was everywhere. It wasn't just Revolver. They look after you at Revs, you know. They take good care of people. They were trying to stop it. Nobody can control what gets into a club.
Can you describe the scene on Chapel Street?
I saw a few people that were pretty fucked up. There were fights. I also saw the ambulance pull up a few times. I didn't see any bodies or anything like that. The security guards were just like, move on, move away. At the time, I thought it would've been someone on juice [GHB]. Normally when the ambulance rocks up at Revs it's always some problem with juice. If you get caught taking juice at Revs you get a lifetime ban.
What did the batch you took look like? How can we just steer clear of it?
They were caps just like everything else. You would never be able to tell.
Could it have been the drug or your Bipolar condition?
I'm on the medicines for the Bipolar so it was definitely the drug that triggered me. I've learned my lesson, I'll be laying off the drugs for a while.
What are you going to do next weekend then?
Well I'm going steer clear of drugs. You've still got all these kids selling it, and they're selling it for cheap to get rid of it. People were selling these caps for 15 bucks at Revs — 15 bucks a cap because they just want to get their money back. They need fucking testing kits. Rainbow Serpent is coming up. This stuff is going to be all over Rainbow and people are going be passing out left, right, and centre. I think we've gotta be more careful to not double drop too.
*Names have been changed. Cover image via Flickr.
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