An extremely lethal variant of the club drug Ecstasy has killed at least six people in Florida since July, raising victims' temperatures so high that the central nervous system "burns out," state police said Friday.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statewide warning that no tests could reliably determine the presence of the highly toxic additives in pills sold as the illegal stimulant Ecstasy, also known as Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA.
The deaths were attributed to Ecstasy tablets that also contained either PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine) or PMMA (paramethoxymethamphetamine).
Both are powerful stimulants that cause the user to sweat profusely and the body temperature to soar. PMA was blamed for three deaths in the Chicago area in May, Florida police said.
"PMA/PMMA burns out the central nervous system by raising the user's body temperature to nearly 108 degrees," Florida police Commissioner Tim Moore said in a news release.