New South Wales police have highlighted what they believe is an undeniable link between the electronic music scene and illicit drug use in a statement released in the wake of the death of 19-year-old Harbourlife reveller Georgina Bartter, whose death is suspected to have been caused by overdose or an allergic reaction to her alleged ingestion of one and a half pills during the dance party.
“I’m concerned that these electronic music events are consistently intimately associated with illicit psychoactive drug use,” said police superintendent Mark Walton in a statement (via The Music). “It does not matter what location they are held in, there is no doubt the nature of the entertainment is intrinsically linked to that drug use. Quite simply, you do not know what you’re taking.”
“Young women, young men, they want to know the contents of everything that they eat, they’ll look at food labels, they’ll look at cosmetics, they’re very particular about things, yet some of them – 78 at least yesterday – turned up with the intent to consume some of those products,” continued Superintendent Walton, referring to the 78 people charged with drug-related offences at Harbourlife.
Speaking to Fairfax Media, a Sydney emergency department doctor who requested to not be named said young people are hospitalised every weekend after taking ecstasy. “Australia-wide, ecstasy use, especially amongst the teenagers, or people in their early 20s, mixed with alcohol is very, very big,” he told Fairfax.
“The big danger comes when you mix pills and, in the past, there have been deaths from people just taking two tablets with different chemicals… But if you have two tablets that have different mechanisms, you can have a massive outpouring of serotonin leading to death.”
“A lot of these tablets, ecstasy, amphetamines, anti-depressants, release chemicals like serotonin… into the brain. The actions of these pills are supposed to make you feel happy and elated. But if you have two tablets that have different mechanisms, you can have a massive outpouring of serotonin leading to death,” he continued.
As Tone Deaf reported yesterday, after falling unconscious at Harbourlife — witnesses told 9 News that she was seen “convulsing in the manner of an epileptic fit” — Bartter was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where she later died of multiple organ failure.
Police are currently preparing a report for the coroner regarding the incident. Following the news of Bartter’s death, promoters Fuzzy issued a statement warning punters of the dangers of drug use and expressing their condolences to Bartter’s family.