(WHDH) — Lights, music, drugs.
Back when Neal Rosenthal went to concerts, he used dangerous and illegal “club drugs” like Molly and Ecstasy.
What they did to him, scared him.
“High anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations. I really thought in some instances I was going to die,” explained Rosenthal.
He has stopped taking drugs, but some young people want the high.
And they think these special kits help them do that in a safer way by detecting if a drug is laced with other dangerous, even deadly substances.
The kit makers – there are several brands – say testing illegal drugs can help users reduce their risk, but police disagree.
“So if you’re considering taking an illegal drug does this make it any safer?” asked 7’s Hank Phillippi Ryan.
Chief John Carmichael of the Walpole Police Department said, “No, absolutely not.”
7News found the kits easily available to buy online, while some are handed out at concerts and other events.
A drug user, who didn’t want to be identified, told 7News when he used a test kit he found his Molly was laced with opiates.
“I feel like those drug kits save lives,” the drug user said.
Companies that make these tests say they’re not encouraging drug use, adding that this kind of testing can protect people from overdosing or even dying.
“How often are these drugs not what they are supposed to be?” asked Hank.
“Over fifty percent are adulterated, cut with something as benign as baking soda or as dangerous as fentanyl,” explained Alex Auctor of Bunk Police.
However, these club drugs all on their own, with nothing mixed in, are already extremely dangerous.
The latest federal stats show deaths from illegal club drugs like Molly are up more than 200 percent over the last 10 years.
“What would you say to police or a DEA agent who says using these kits is absurd? They don’t protect anyone from anything?” asked Hank.
“I would tell them the idea that we are going to wipe these substances off the planet is absurd,” said Auctor.
Officials tell 7News possessing the test kits is legal in Massachusetts, but having the drugs to use with the test kits is not legal.
(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)