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19 April 2013, 09:19
Police in Cheshire are warning people about the dangers of the drug PMA following three deaths in Macclesfield.
Police think the substance, similar to Ecstasy, was a key factor in the deaths of two women earlier this month.
Toxicology tests found PMA in the systems of both 34-year-old Rachel Clayton and 30-year-old Emma Speed.
The pair were found dead at a house on Crompton Road on Sunday April 7th.
PMA was also found in the system of a 34-year-old man who was found dead in a caravan on Batemill Close in February.
At the moment police say there's no evidence to suggest a link between the deaths.
PMA can be bought as a tablet or powder and is sold as a powerful form of Ecstasy, but often takes longer to take effect.
This can lead to users taking more of them, putting themselves at greater risk of overdosing.
The drug is an amphetamine known as ‘Paramethoxyamphetamine' or 'PMA' and is illegal to possess or sell.
There've been a number of deaths across the country linked to PMA in the last 12 months and Cheshire Police are talking to other forces to find out where it might be coming from.
Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said: "While we would always urge people not to take any illegal substances, I am particularly keen to emphasise the dangers and potentially life threatening consequences of PMA.
"We have now had three deaths in Cheshire which appear to be linked to the drug and therefore I feel I have a duty to warn people about the potentially fatal consequences taking this drug can have.
"It is our duty to join up with our colleagues in the health service and make as many people as possible aware of the risk this drug poses and to do all we can to ensure no one dies and prevent further heartache for any more families.
"If anyone has any information about who is supplying this drug across Cheshire I would urge them to contact police or Crimestoppers anonymously so we can respond to this potential risk and take them off the streets."
Anyone with any information can call Cheshire Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.