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Dear colleagues,

 

In the past week several powders were analysed by the Dutch drug checking service DIMS that were found to contain the dangerous substance atropine.

The tested powder samples were cocaine or ketamine samples, contaminated with atropine, submitted for testing in the region of Noord-Brabant.

 

At the same time we also received information about at least three cases in the region of Antwerp where atropine was detected in the urine of known cocaine users.

 

Intoxications with atropine are characterised by the following symptoms: restlessness, dilated pupils, dry skin, dry mouth, blurred vision, fever, panic,

palpitations, confusion, hallucinations, decreased consciousness and epilepsy symptoms. Respiratory depression and irregular heartbeats can result in fatal cases.

 

For the moment we only received notifications for the region of Antwerp and The Netherlands; however, it cannot be excluded that these contaminated drugs are present in other regions in Belgium as well.

In Belgium drug checking services are available at Modus Fiesta/Modus Vivendi in Brussels.

 

We would like to warn about this potential life-threatening contamination of cocaine and/or ketamine. Please distribute this message in your networks.

In cases where exposure to atropine is suspected, the Poison Center (https://www.antigifcentrum.be/; https://www.centreantipoisons.be; 070 245 245) can be contacted for more information about appropriate treatment.

The Dutch EWS message can be found here​.

 

Kind regards,

 

Dr. Apr. Peter Blanckaert

Coordinator Belgian Early Warning System on Drugs

DO Public Health&Surveillance, Drugs Program (BMCDDA)

Juliette Wytsmanstraat 14 | 1050 Brussels
T + 32 2 642 54 08 | F + 32 2 642 54 10 | GSM Wacht +32 475 84 68 16

E-mail: peter.blanckaert@wiv-isp.be

Skype: wiv-isp.peter.blanckaert

 

Institut Scientifique de Santé Publique
Wetenschappelijk Instituut Volksgezondheid
Scientific Institute of Public Health
www.wiv-isp.be