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Tuesday 17 September 2019
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[UPDATED] Police: ‘Zesser pills’ in schools

From left: Supt (Ag) Wayne Mystar, left, and Snr Supt (Ag) Wayne Mohammed at a press briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Wednesday. PHOTO  SUREASH CHOLAI
From left: Supt (Ag) Wayne Mystar, left, and Snr Supt (Ag) Wayne Mohammed at a press briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Wednesday. PHOTO SUREASH CHOLAI

POLICE are warning teachers and parents to be on the alert as a potentially lethal drug said to be a combination of cocaine and ecstasy is being circulated and sold in the nation's schools.

TTPS public information officer Wayne Mystar made this known yesterday at the police's weekly press briefing at Police Administration Building in Port of Spain. He said police are “critically concerned” as the party drug has found its way into the hands of school children.

“Based on our intelligence, it is a combination of ecstasy and cocaine, and they are designed like sweets. We are realising because of the infiltration of gangs in schools, we are seeing the drug is finding itself in schools,” Mystar said. The drug also seems to be very popular at parties, Mystar said.

Other police sources told Newsday while there is no doubt the party drug is in some schools, its sale is more prevalent at parties and social events. Sources added, while the party drug, ecstasy is sold in pill form, “Zesser Pills” are actually sold as a powder. Police intelligence revealed one manner in which users are making the drug is by crushing ecstasy pills and mixing it with cocaine.

Users then mix the concoction with alcoholic drinks like puncheon or non-alcoholic drinks. Police also noted if any quantity of the drug is seized, they would have to wait on the assistance of the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit (OCIU) to determine whether there is any trace of cocaine in the drug, otherwise the people in possession of the drug may not be charged, because designer chemicals such as MDMA, which is the base chemical in ecstasy, are not on TT’s dangerous drugs list.

Images circulating on social media, of blue pills which look like chewable tablets, said to be new party drug "Zesser Pills"

In July, Minister of National Security, Stuart Young, called for a ban on the psychedelic drug MDMA. The drug causes feelings of euphoria, increased energy, affection and pleasure, but its side effects include paranoia, difficulty sleeping, rapid heartbeat, sweating, blurred vision and dehydration, which can lead to death. Long term effects include tiredness and depression.

In a release sent to the media earlier, the Ministry of National Security also expressed concern over the drug and urged people not to take the drug or any other psychoactive drugs in the interest of their health and well-being.

But the release said the chemical composition of the drug has not yet been verified by the Forensic Science Centre.

At the press briefing Mystar said the police intends to have an information drive at schools to educate children about the dangers of the drug, and called to principals to reach out to the police to develop strategies to get the party drug out of the hands of schoolchildren. Some schools have taken it upon themselves to warn parents about the circulation of the drug and its dangers.

The Arima Boys Government Primary school began sharing stories about the drug and warning parents to "beware" and inform their children about the dangers of the drug.

During a panel discussion with Howard University graduates held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh warned young TT citizens, particularly in their 20's and 30's to beware of the drug, and said personal responsibility is key in protecting themselves from the dangerous side effects of the drug.

“They have to be aware of what they put in their bodies. This gets you high. The problem is when you come off the high you drop. And that is what we are seeing. Your body reacts to coming off this high with adverse effects,” Deyalsingh said.

He told reporters he was contacted by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith on Sunday for advice on the party drug and the ministry is advising him on a legal standpoint where the ministry stands on the use and possession of the drug.

But Deyalsing pointed out the emerging trend is part of a worldwide epidemic of opioid addiction.

“The worldwide scourge of illegal drugs is one we have to face head on. For example in the US they are going through an opioid crisis where painkillers like fentanyl patches, and oral pills like oxycontin, people are getting hooked on them and they are dying. The issue of illegal pharmaceuticals is one we have to face by patient education.”

This story was originally published with the title "'Zesser' pills in schools" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


ZESSER pills are being sold in schools, according to public information officer Wayne Mystar. At the police press briefing earlier today at Police Administration Building, Port of Spain, the information officer said police are “critically concerned” as the party drug is finding its way into the hands of school children.

“Based on our intelligence, it is a combination of ecstasy and cocaine, and they are designed like sweets. We are realising because of the infiltration of gangs in schools, we are seeing the drug is finding its way into schools,” Mystar said. The drug also seems to be popular at parties according to Mystar.

In a release sent to the media, the Ministry of National Security also expressed concern over the drug but said the chemical composition of the drug has not yet been verified by the Forensic Science Centre. The Ministry urged people not to take the drug or any other psychoactive drugs in the interest of their health and well-being.

Mystar said the police intends to have an information drive at schools to educate children about the dangers of the drug, and called to principals to reach out to the police to develop strategies to get the party drug out of schools.

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