A 26-year-old man from Rochdale has died, and another four people remain in critical condition, after taking MDMA known as "Pink Champagne" over the weekend.
In total, 11 people were hospitalised this weekend after taking the drug, according to Manchester Police, who warned in a statement:
The drug is believed to come in crystal form and is highly potent, with many of the people police have spoken to saying that this is the first time they have seen or heard of the drug.
Concerns amongst medical professionals and police are high given the potential for serious harm and even lethal consequences for those who have taken it.
Detective Inspector Jim Faulkner, of GMP's Oldham team, said symptoms to watch for include rigid muscles, shallow breathing, a fast racing pulse, hyper-aggression or mania, seizure, foaming at the mouth and unconsciousness – and that anyone displaying these should immediately seek medical help.
Pink Champagne – sometimes called "Magic" – has been described as crystalline MDMA with a pink hue. If you come across it, steer clear.
If you're going to take drugs generally, you should know how to use them in as safe a way as possible. When taking MDMA, always follow drug welfare organisation The Loop's advice of "crush, dab, wait" – taking a very small amount and waiting for the effects to come on to see how strong it is and how you react. MDMA crystals can vary in potency, and different people react differently, so without reagent tests or access to proper testing equipment, this is the best way of understanding what effect the drugs you've bought are going to have on you.
Also be aware that mixing MDMA with other substances – including alcohol – can increase the risk of side effects.