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You are here: Home Fighting crime How the CCC fights crime Drugs in Queensland MDMA


Market assessment: HIGH with an increasing market trend.

What is it?

The chemical 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) is an amphetamine-type substance commonly known as “ecstasy” when sold in pill or tablet form.

The MDMA market in Queensland

    • Following an earlier contraction in the MDMA market between 2008 and 2011, the availability of MDMA in Queensland has increased since 2012. The purity of ecstasy-type substances entering the Queensland market has also increased.
    • The Queensland MDMA market is volatile and dependent on international trends in the availability of precursors and end product.
    • This drug continues to be popular among younger drug users, and is typically used in social settings such as nightclubs and music festivals.
    • In the past three years, the majority of ecstasy-group seizures occurred in the Brisbane and South Eastern Region.
    • The MDMA and new psychoactive substances (NPS) markets are closely related. Forensic testing of ecstasy pills frequently identifies the presence of l NPS such as NBOMe-type substances. The recent contraction in the NPS market is likely attributed to the increased availability of MDMA.
    • There has been an increase in demand for and supply of MDMA crystal. MDMA crystal is reportedly higher in purity than MDMA powder.

      Organised crime presence

        • Organised crime has a significant involvement in the MDMA market, and the increased availability of MDMA internationally is likely to continue to attract organised crime groups to this market.
        • Entrepreneurial individuals are using online websites to import large quantities of MDMA for onselling to social circles for profit. Local clandestine laboratories producing MDMA-type substances have also been detected.

        What you should know

        • In Queensland ecstasy tablets contain a range of diverse substances and adulterants. Some of these substances are harmful and have been associated with deaths.
        • Organised crime groups are likely to become increasingly involved in the sale of potentially harmful counterfeit MDMA pills as demand for MDMA increases.
        • Substances sold as ecstasy (that are actually cheaper, more harmful alternatives) have also been linked to deaths in Queensland, interstate and overseas.
        • The higher purity of MDMA now available in Queensland may add to the harms and risk of overdose among ecstasy users who have become used to lower purity pills — particularly those who are used to taking multiple pills at a time to achieve the desired effect.
        • Overseas there have been detections of high concentration MDMA pills (200mg compared to 30mg). Significant health effects and fatalities are expected if these substances were to enter the Queensland market.
        Last updated: 10 June 2016

        MDMA yellow/green four-leaf clover pill


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