Deadly new drug suspected for mass overdoses across Melbourne

Doctors fear a deadly new drug could be behind a mass overdose across Melbourne over the weekend.

It was first suspected that the drug GHB, a liquid form of ecstasy, was behind the mass overdose which resulted in 20 people being taken to hospital on Saturday night.

However, doctors now suspect it was a derivative of that drug called GBL, which slowly releases into the body, so the user does not feel the effects immediately and takes more, resulting in the overdoses.

The future of the popular Melbourne music festival is now in doubt after a narcotics nightmare saw 22 people overdose over the weekend. Source: Herald Sun

Police have also cast doubt over the future of the Melbourne music festival where dozens of revellers were treated for serious drug overdoses over the weekend.

Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane says police will meet with organisers of the Electric Parade Music Festival to discuss whether they should be allowed to host future events after a number of revellers were left in a critical condition on Saturday.

"(We will determine) whether they should be allowed access to another venue," Mr Leane said.

Paramedics treated 25 people at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and a further seven were found collapsed in nearby parks and streets.

A reveller is treated outside the Sidney Myer Music Bowl after attending the Electric Parade music festival. Source: Herald Sun

The majority of the overdoses are believed to have been of the synthetic drug GHB but detailed analysis is still to be conducted.

Ambulance Victoria's state health commander Paul Holman said the number of overdoses was unprecedented, and it's lucky no one died.

"It's the highest number of overdoses we have seen at a music event for some time."


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Police arrested 40 people at the event including one man charged and remanded overnight after quantities of ecstasy, cocaine, MDMA, LSD, ketamine and hash were found on him.

Mr Leane says police will also be speaking with Sidney Myer Music Bowl management and City of Melbourne over the event which clashed with the scheduling of the similarly "high risk" event, White Night.

Police arrested 21 people including youths involved in planned gang chaos in Federation Square.

The event was also held in Sydney last month.

With AAP.