THE DEATH of a man in Langwith has been linked to a deadly drug which has been given the street name ‘Dr Death’, police have said.
Simon Binfield from Langwith was rushed to hospital earlier this month after it was thought he had taken drugs. He suffered a suspected heart attack in the ambulance on the way to King’s Mill Hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.
Initial fears are that he had taken amphetamine and mephedrone, although toxicology tests show there were traces of para-Methoxyamphetamine in his system. The drug is also known as ‘PMA’, ‘PMMA’, ‘Chicken Powder and ‘Dr Death’.
Traces were also found following tests from a 45-year-old man who died just over a week later in Creswell, less than four miles from Langwith.
And police believe other drug-related deaths around the country are linked to the substance, which the buyers and users may have thought was amphetamine.
Steve Holme, a drug expert working for Derbyshire Police, said: “PMA has been linked to deaths in Dorset, Peterborough and in the village of Creswell on 9th June.
“We’re pretty sure that with the deaths around here [Langwith and Creswell] they thought it was amphetamine”.
Steve said the drug is usually found in a red tablet form, but in the case of the recent deaths was thought to be a white paste.
“People who are buying the stuff obviously don’t know what it is,” he added.
“My message to people is that if they don’t know what it is, they shouldn’t be taking the risks.”
PMA is a stimulant drug similar to ecstasy, but is said to be not as potent. Users may believe they have taken a ‘weak’ ecstasy tablet, when they have actually taken a tablet containing this highly toxic substance. They may then be tempted to up their dose to achieve the desired effect, increasing the risk of a potentially fatal overdose.
Meanwhile, scores of tributes have been paid to Mr Binfield on social network site, Facebook, in recent weeks.
Known by many as ‘Binner’, a special page was set up following news of his death on 1st June, with one contributor describing him as a “great lad” and saying he “will be missed by so many people”.
Another commented: “Langwith won’t be the same without you.”