Schoolies fear: New drugs could cause mass overdoses

PARENTS of schoolies bound for the Gold Coast after school wraps up are being warned that 2016 could be the worst yet for drug overdoses as cheap pills and dangerous new hallucinogenics flood into the glitter strip.

Experts warn that classic party drug MDMA is appearing in "high purity" form alongside other unknown and potentially lethal drugs.

Sefework Laboratories toxicologist Andrew Leibie told the Daily Telegraph up to 350 new psychoactive substances have appeared in the past eight years.

The problem has already emerged across Europe and North America, he said, and Australia won't escape.

"If you add all these new toxic, very lethal unknown drugs, it can only make the situation worse."

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre also warned MDMA was becoming more pure, meaning more chance of an overdose.

The warnings follow a mass overdose on the Gold Coast that left one man dead and 16 in hospital.

The Queensland Government has a range of Schoolies information, including a checklist for parents of schoolleavers.
It includes:

  • Acknowledge what a huge transition it is for both of you.
  • Make sure your teen is aware of what support is available.
  • Check to see how social relationships are going within the group.
  • Make agreements regarding contact during Schoolies.
  • Have a talk about sleep, hydration, nutrition and stress.
  • Touch base with the other parents.
  • Suggest some low cost outings they might like to do as a group.
  • Encourage your teen to download the Emergency+ App to identify their location and to seek assistance in emergency situations.
  • Encourage your teen to download the Policelink App to report any non-urgent crimes or incidents during Schoolies e.g. willful property damage, lost property, high risk behaviour.

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