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The death of two 18-year-old boys, while partying at the end of August, was reported by the National Police in Getafe, Madrid. Another boy was hospitalized. After the investigation, police concluded that the boys died due to an overdose of a new drug composed of alcohol, speed, and a plant called Datura Stramonium.
The consumption took place in a remote and derelict old monastery where an underground rave party was taking place. Some thought that a 23 year-old male, nicknamed Cabe, must have been involved in the partiers’ deaths. According to party-goers, Cabe had offered free samples of his homemade drug to people.
As Cabe reported to the police “We [Cabe and his girlfriend] handled it for free to lure people to try it and open new markets.” Both Cabe and his girlfriend were arrested and charged of offense against public health and negligent homicide. Three days after Cabe’s public statement and arrest, an unrelated group of adolescent, intrigued by the media coverage of the incident, decided to experiment with the same toxic plant just for fun.
But the euphoria caused bizarre behavior of the boys. Witnesses reported that one of the guys, at night in the middle of a crowded street, started to suffer hallucinations, was incapable to focus his vision, and was moving his arms as if he was trying to catch something in the air. He was unable to answer questions and only murmured indecipherable words.
A girl observing the scene decided to call the emergency service with her cell phone. Unfortunately the operator on duty did not believe her claims. It took the girl several calls to get an ambulance to come to the scene. Upon arriving, the ambulance was unequipped to care for the drugged up boy and drove him straight to the hospital – the boy was in a deep coma.
Datura Stramonium is an ancient plant with very toxic seeds and leaves that contains atropine, a drug with a wide variety of effects. Among others it can be listed as: delirium, hyperthermia, tachycardia or photophobia. There is not a maximum dose per person because it depends on the physical characteristics of the consumer so any quantity can be lethal.
The plant is also known as devil´s weed, devil´s trumpet, moonflower or Jamestown weed. Many are questioning whether the media should raise alarm concerning this drug. Last time there was a similar reported case in Spain, was during 2004 in Valencia; a Danish man was offering a beverage made from Stramonium to whoever wanted it and five people consumed the dangerous substance.
A week later, four more were intoxicated during a Gay Pride Parade due to the same media luring effect.