Backpackers hospitalised in Perth after snorting mystery drugs

The nine Europeans suffered paralysis and seizures after ingesting the powder.
The nine Europeans suffered paralysis and seizures after ingesting the powder. Photo credit: File

Nine European backpackers suffered paralysis and seizures during a stay in Perth, Australia, after deciding to snort a mystery white powder sent to a house they were staying at.

The two women and seven men, all in their early 20s, were hospitalised on Wednesday night - with three of them placed in intensive care in critical condition, according to The West Australian.

After tests were conducted on the powder, it was identified as containing scopolamine, or scoop. Scoop is a prescription medication used to treat motion sickness, but is also used widely as a date rape drug.

The group - made up of one Italian, one Moroccan, two Germans and five from France - came across the powder when it arrived in the mail at the home they were staying at. They reportedly believed it to be cocaine.

They took the drug at about 9pm (local time), and within minutes were suffering extreme symptoms such as paralysis, hallucinations, seizures, vomiting and overheating as a result of the overdose.

Medical experts told The West Australian it was fortunate no one died.

One of the nine, now been discharged from hospital, said their symptoms prevented them from calling for help or notifying emergency services.

The group was only discovered when another housemate arrived home and called an ambulance.

Scoop has been known to be used as a date rape drug, as it puts people into a zombie-like state. It is most commonly seen in this context in Colombia.


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