Authorities in Warwickshire, UK have issued an official warning to the public about the current circulation of dangerous blue ecstasy pills pressed with the skull face of Marvel film The Punisher.
The warning comes after the tragic death of 19-year-old Harley Girven, also known as Harley Mason, who was found dead by police at his residence in the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight on June 29.
It's suspected that Girven's death was caused by taking one of these blue tablets which are referred to as the "Punisher pills" and are said to be three times stronger than most other forms of ecstasy.
One report of the diamond-shaped pills said they have a "strong aniseed/chemical smell". One user on Reddit stated the pills contain 250 to 300mg of MDMA, which is a very high dosage.
Two teenagers, ages 16 and 17, were on the premises when police arrived and were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs.
The following day, emergency services raced to a house in Stratford-upon-Avon, where five teenagers had taken a batch of MDMA. One of the five, a 17-year-old boy, died that night in the hospital after going into cardiac arrest.
“At this time we are keeping an open mind as to whether this is a bad batch of drugs or an overdose," said Detective inspector Lisa Sears in a statement.“While we are investigating to establish how the boy died we would urge local drug users to be very cautious."
This is not the first time that authorities have issued an official warning about these deadly Punisher pills. Back in March of last year, Dorset Police issued a warning about the tablet after two people who took it had to be rushed to the hospital after suffering "serious side-effects" such as convulsions, psychosis and vomiting.
Two months after that first incident in 2018, a second warning about the pill was issued after being linked to two deaths at Portsmouth Mutiny Festival.
Cameron is Mixmag's Jr. Editor. Follow him on Twitter
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