Deadly drug warning

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Police are warning of a potentially fatal drug which might be circulating in Sunderland and County Durham.

Northumbria Police and Durham Police have both issued the alert about the dangers of a drug which people might take thinking it to be ecstasy.

On Monday nine people from a house in Jesmond, had to be taken to hospital after taking the bright blue tablets, which are the size of paracetemols and have an x marked on them.

One man, who is in his 20s, suffered serious side effects and is still very ill in hospital. Another man was detained in hospital, but released after treatment.

The remaining people were all examined and released from hospital and have been arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and bailed.

Tests revealed the tablets as containing a chemical called PMA and not ecstasy.

These tablets are more dangerous and have greater side effects than ecstasy and police fear the poisonous drugs, which have been known to lead to death, could be circulating in the North East.

Detective Chief Inspector Ged Noble of Northumbria Police, said: “Anyone thinking of taking any drug, particularly this tablet, should not. PMA has particularly nasty side effects and can lead to fatal overdoses even in small quantities.

“If anyone thinks they have taken this drug they should seek immediate medical attention.”

Anyone with information or concerns about these tablets should contact police on 101. In an emergency or if a life is in danger telephone 999.