Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homemade drug kills two teenagers in Spain

Spanish authorities have warned the country's youth against a homemade drug that has killed two people and put another two in hospital.

Two 18-year-olds died and a 20-year-old fell seriously ill after they were given a drug brewed from the leaf of the thorn apple plant at a rave in the Madrid commuter town of Getafe on 21 August.

Seeds and leaves from the thorn apple, which is also known as devil's trumpet or devil's weed, are hallucinogenic and dangerous – though scientists warn that the whole plant, including its flowers, can seriously damage health.

Side-effects include an increased pulse, muscular twitches, diarrhoea, convulsions, coma and death.

The thorn apple comes from the same family of plants as belladonna, otherwise known as deadly nightshade. more