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Last year, ecstasy-related deaths reached their highest level in a decade. So why does the UK have one of the world’s most excessive drug habits? In this episode of High Society, the documentary series from VICE, they talk to dealers, users, and manufacturers to find out what’s making ecstasy so dangerous again, and how that danger can be reduced.

High numbers

No one takes drugs quite like the British. On average, Brits take 420 milligrams MDMA per session. To put that in perspective, Germans (the same people who invented minimal techno and nightclubs that stay open for 60 hours) take only 200 milligrams.

Tragically, ecstasy-related deaths are the highest they’ve been in a decade. Pills are also the strongest they’ve been in a decade. They used to be around 80mg of MDMA, and they’re now testing at 240mg. British street dealers admit to only having a vague idea of what is in their products.

We take it ourselves to see what it’s like. I would say that 20 percent of it is cut with all sorts of shit, meths and that. The bills come from Holland, that’s all I know.

How can the dangers be reduced?

ecstacy High Society: The Truth About Ecstasy
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The Dark Web has changed the UK drug society. Each month, approximately 50 kilos is sent from Holland, and via legit couriers. Border Control agents are still seizing vast quantities of pills and raw chemicals.

It’s a controlled drug because it’s deadly. You only have to see what’s in the media – UK Border Agent

People are calling for pills to be tested so they can see what they are laced with. Adam Winstock, Director of Global Drug Survey, is calling for manufacturers to standardize their pills.

It’s a pissing content. They’re going, ‘We’ve got the best pills’, quite tragically they think stronger pills are better pills.

Companies like Loop offer a testing service of people’s drugs at festivals and offer to dispose of them if people don’t like the results. One tester said that they’d had drugs laced with Pentylone, which caused one party reveler to have a psychotic episode.

Check out the full episode of High Society here.

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