MDMA purity in the UK experienced a dramatic recovery, as just 1% of the samples tested by The Loop contained impostor substances.
This comes after a two-year bumpy ride, where 2021 reports revealed that 55% of party drugs sold as ecstasy contained no MDMA traces. But 2022’s festival season and the first restriction-free summer in three years brought MDMA’s purity to pre-pandemic levels.
The Loop’s director Fiona Measham told VICE that the scanty 1% might not be part of the 2022 supply. Instead, it could symbolize the “leftovers” from last year.
“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.”
Since MDMA’s sample purity doubled this year, party-goers are reassured that their chances of taking contaminants like caffeine and cathinone instead of MDMA are one in 100. But that also means that people should test their drugs, as high-strength pills are plaguing the market.
Measham told VICE that strong ecstasy pills are still found in the UK, but they have smaller MDMA quantities than the pre-pandemic ones.
“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].”