The manager of a homeless café in Dublin is concerned about the apparent rise of a newer ‘lethal’ liquid ecstasy used by homeless people.
The Lighthouse Café manager Ger Ganley told Newstalk emergency services and Gardaí were called to the café on Sunday evening after a number of people became seriously ill.
“We had some people present themselves here fairly over their heads on something I believe to be liquid ecstasy,” he said.
“One girl in particular, she was dehydrating to the point of potential overdose... I would've been really concerned for her life.
“The individual she was with was a danger to himself and to others and eventually he was arrested.”
Mr Ganley observed four eye-bottle-like objects lying outside his café on Pearse Street.
“Quite a lot of people are saying it’s available on the street,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s a newer version of it.”
He said liquid ecstasy, also known as GHB, is “lethal in terms of the amount taken”.
“People had been saying to me that there were people on O'Connell Bridge ready to jump into the river,” he said. “Overdosed as well, I believe.”
Jason, a homeless man in Dublin, also told Newstalk he saw these people on O'Connell Bridge.
"The three of them were taken off in ambulances," he said. "It was crazy - I've never seen any other drug do that to a person."
He said it was like the people on liquid ecstasy were "folding backwards" and thought they had "super strength".
"I've used drugs for 30 years but it's the first time I've seen this and seen the effects of it."
"Coma, overdose, irreversible brain damage"
The suspected rise of liquid ecstasy is “very worrying” to Mr Ganley.
“This particular substance is cheap, so people can get their hands on these quite easily,” he explained.
Jason said these new drugs are being sold on The Quays in the city and have become popular due to their cheap cost.
"The way we had ecstasy tablets - I think the craze this year is going to be liquid ecstasy because you can put it into a bottle of juice," he said. "You can't really be caught."
"There's a weird taste, you have to put stuff in with it to make it palatable so you don’t know how much you’re getting - it could be rat poison for all we know."
"It will kill people"
Nicole told Newstalk liquid ecstasy will kill people"if it hasn't already".
She witnessed another woman overdosing on the substance and believed she was going to die.
"After a few minutes, she was gone," Nicole said. "Her body was shaking and jumping, she was rolling her eyes and she wouldn't talk.
"I've taken ecstasy in the past in tablet form and after seeing what I've seen, I wouldn't if you gave me a billion euro."
Gardaí have said they attended O'Connell Street on Sunday evening with emergency services "following reports of a number of individuals taking ill."
These individuals were treated at the scene by ambulance personnel, before being removed to hospital.
"As this is primarily a health related incident An Garda Síochána has no further comment at this time," a statement said.
"Public health warnings are primarily a matter for the HSE," it added.
Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact the confidential National Drug Helpline at 1800-459-459 or email firstname.lastname@example.org