Plaster of Paris and malaria meds: All the substances missold as festival drugs in 2022

Some have nasty side effects

It’s a fact that drugs are woven into the fabric of the UK festival scene. For most people, their experiences on the silly substances are largely positive. Unfortunately, some dealers are still selling drugs that have none of the advertised chemical in whatsoever. This can obviously be really dangerous.

The Loop is a drugs testing service that has pop-up stalls at festivals like Parklife and Boomtown. In 2021, The Loop found that 45 per cent of the products they tested that had been sold as MDMA contained none of the drug at all. That was up from seven per cent in 2019.

This had a lot to do with supply chain issues caused by the pandemic and Brexit. Thankfully, in 2022, this figure has dropped off to 11 per cent. But that still means about one in ten pills sold are dodgy. Here’s a rundown of some of the substances that have been missold as popular party drugs during the 2022 festival season:

Malaria medication missold as Ket at Boomtown


Via The Loop

Loop staff who were testing drugs at this year’s Boomtown found Chloroquine missold as Ketamine.

Chloroquine is an anti-malaria drug that has side effects including diarrhoea, vomiting and skin rashes.

Overdosing on Chloroquine could cause seizures and heart palpitations. The drug also may interact badly with prescription meds.

Plaster of Paris in pingers at Secret Garden Party


Via The Loop

The Loop began testing drugs at Secret Garden Party six years ago. Back then, they found plaster of Paris in some pills missold as MDMA.

Six years later, they found exactly to the same.

Fake Soundcloud pills were discovered at Secret Garden Party containing plaster of Paris instead of MDMA. They look similar to a genuine pill but unlike the real deal, there is no break line on the fake one.

The Loop suggests that if you feel like the effects of a pill are underwhelming, don’t redose.

Fake MDMA crystals at Secret Garden Party


Via The Loop

The Loop tested a MDMA crystals, powder and pills at SGP that looked visibly identical to the real drugs but contained a very different substance indeed.

The substance was in fact N-ethylpentylone. This chemical can give users a short period of MDMA-like effects before causing up to 48 hours of severe insomnia and potentially psychosis.

The Loop suggests people who think they’ve taken this should try and rest as symptoms tend to ware off after sleep.

Follow this link for a rundown of all the MDMA pills from last year’s festival season that contained none of the substance.

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