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9 backpackers hospitalized after consuming date rape drug they had mistaken for cocaine

By Alexis Bell 5:20 AM January 5, 2018
Backpackers (illustration)

A group of backpackers were rushed to a hospital after consuming date rape drug they had mistaken for cocaine.

Three backpackers are in critical condition at a hospital in Perth, Australia, while 6 others recovered.

The seven men and two women, who are between 21 and 25-years-old, took the powder and fell unconscious or semi-conscious. Some also suffered seizures.

The tourists, 5 from France, 2 from Germany, 1 from Italy, and 1 from Morocco lived in a shared house on Colombo Street in Victoria Park when the incident occurred.

The Italian man who identified himself as Simone said that a package arrived at the house and was addressed to someone who no longer lived there.

When the group opened it, they found a white powder wrapped in a piece of paper with the word “scoop” written on it.

Thinking it was cocaine, they divided the powder between them and inhaled it, Simone said.

But the substance was later identified as Hyoscine, a medication used to treat travel sickness, but it is also known to be used as a date rape drug.

Simone said that after consuming the drug, they all became paralyzed and couldn’t scream for help.

“We did not have any power, we could not do anything,” he said.

Emergency workers were called when another housemate came home and found them in urgent need of medical care.

“They were hallucinating, their hearts were racing, and some of them had to be put in a medically induced coma for their own protection,” Royal Perth Hospital emergency room doctor David McCutcheon said during a press conference.

Two tourists from France and one from Germany remained hospitalized and are said to be in critical condition while the rest of them were treated and released.