Australia: Backpackers mistake drug 'Devil's Breath' for cocaine, become victims

Seized drugs CNB

Recently a group of backpackers in Australia mistook a white substance for cocaine and went into hallucination to be forced into medical coma by hospital authorities soon.

The backpackers received a package of a white powder with a piece of paper that said "Scoop", which is an indication to Hyoscine, which also known as scopolamine, reported The West Australian. All the victims, aged between 21 to 25, snorted the powder and within minutes they started experiencing the side effects of the drug, including seizures, paralysis and hallucinations.

When one of their housemates who returned later to the place rushed them to a nearby hospital and the doctors have to put them on emergency treatment, including medically induced coma. Dr David McCutcheon, an emergency physician of the Royal Perth Hospital, said that they were hallucinating with high heartbeat.

"Several of them had to be put in a medically induced coma for their own protection and I really need to emphasise how seriously unwell they were," he said and added that some of them would have died without medical supervision. In three of them, the situation is not normal yet.

Scopolamine is not only a drug but also a medication, which is used to cure the motion sickness but has a weird name called 'Devil's Breath', because of its ability to leave all the victims with no ability to control their actions.

While the psychoactive drug marijuana is considered a useful substance to cure epilepsy or Alzheimer's, Devil's Breath is used to prevent nausea from anaesthesia and it also helps to calm stomach muscles. But its side effects are more harmful, as it attacks the vision, memory and even the pulse rate.

UN figures show that drug addiction kills about 200,000 people every year.

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