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MDMA has had a rough ride these past few years, but according to recent reports from drug testing labs in the UK, the party drug is finally pure again for the first time in years.
The drug saw a loss in purity over the past couple of years – and both Brexit and COVID are mostly to blame for that – but according to Vice, MDMA is back to pre-pandemic levels of purity.
Speaking to research company The Loop and government-funded testing lab TicTac, Vice found that just 1% of all samples tested recently contained “contaminants and imposter substances”.
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That’s down from last summer, where around 55% of drugs sold as MDMA contained nothing of the party drug at all.
“This year we have seen the amount of fake ecstasy drop back to pre-pandemic levels,” The Loop’s director, Fiona Measham, told Vice.
“It’s very strange and we have no idea why [fake MDMA] seems to have just disappeared. This was an exclusively UK phenomenon and there seems to be no hangover from last year, except that people appear to be behaving more cautiously at festivals than before – maybe this year’s heat also factored,” she said.
“But we are seeing comparatively less MDMA samples making their way to us and are instead seeing more ketamine and mushrooms, which are harder to fake and have lesser aftereffects.”
Read this next: Warnings over dangerously high-strength MDMA pills found at Boardmasters
For the first time in some three years, the drug has made a huge recovery, though a recent surge in high-strength pills has scourged the market over summer. While partygoers can be reassured that their MDMA contains less contaminants, pills are now twice or often three times the strength of those pre-pandemic.
“Before the pandemic, we were regularly putting out warnings for pills containing upwards of 300mg of MDMA, which is many times more than the suggested dose [of around 80-120mg],” Measham told Vice.
“Super strong pills are still being found but we are finding more pills of around 150mg to 180mg, which are still high but much smaller than what was around before.”
Read our guide on staying safe with high-strength ecstasy here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins