Northern Territory Police and health professionals are warning about the emergence of a new designer drug, containing ingredients known as bath salts, being marketed with a popular social media symbol.
The small pink and blue pills contain the imprint of the ghost logo for popular social media application Snapchat.
One man was put in intensive care and another three were hospitalised when they took the drug in Darwin over the weekend.
The young men were treated at Royal Darwin Hospital, suffering symptoms of wild aggression and hysteria.
It is the second weekend Darwin residents have been hospitalised due to effects of the drug.
Detective Superintendant Peter Shiller says the drug contains a dangerous base ingredient, known as bath salts.
“You certainly don’t want to be putting this in your body. It’s nothing new – this Snapchat is a new logo, [but] it’s the same poison,” he said.
He linked the drug back to an attack on a US homeless man in 2012 involving bath salts.
“If you see [the] problems that they’ve had in Florida – that homeless guy eating someone’s face – that’s your bath salt issue,” he said.
“This particular tablet may have been manufactured locally into that particular logo, but it’s still the base ingredient.”
Northern Territory chief medical officer Steven Skov says the drug is a class of amphetamine and has warned young people to stay away from the drug.
“They are very aggressive while on this drug and it’s also a danger to themselves,” he said.
“Because we know that with these types of drugs there is a potential to have a heart attack, to have something called malignant hypothermia where you essentially cook your brain.
“So they are a real danger to themselves and other people. So the message is, please do not take this drug.”