'Zombie drug' Schoolies' warning: 16 taken to hospital

UPDATE: Another eight people were rushed to hospital after reportedly overdosing on a hallucinogenic "zombie" drug on the Gold Coast.

It follows another eight people who were hospitalised in the early hours of Saturday morning, believed to have taken the same drug.

The mix of young men and women, aged between 18 and 25, were treated by paramedics at licensed venues across Surfers Paradise and at a residence at Labrador.

Paramedics and police say the patients all suffered severe hallucinogenic reactions and began behaving erratically and aggressively.

Queensland Ambulance Service inspector Stephen Burns said it was the biggest outbreak he'd seen in his 24 years on the Gold Coast.

Of the eight reported on Saturday,  patients suffered severe reactions and began behaving erratically. Two of the men were in a serious condition, another put into an induced coma.

More on this at the Gold Coast Bulletin

Police also had to protect paramedics as one intoxicated man was hallucinating.

The so-called "zombie" drug is thought to be "Flakka" -- a synthetic hallucinogen which has a notorious reputation in the United States where it is also dubbed "gravel".

It combines the stimulation from methamphetamine with the hallucinogenic properties of LSD.

Its scientific name is Alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone or Alpha PVP.

Police have told News Corp they now fear the drug could claim more victims at next weekend's Gold Coast 600 motor race, and at Schoolies later in the year.

Gold Coast police district duty officer Senior Sergeant Bruce Pearce told the Sunday Mail the users were showing "extreme behaviour".

"I'm sure it was a very scary situation for those people.

"We just want to get the message out there that these are dangerous drugs. You don't know what's in them ... so don't take them."

Topics:  crime drugs editors picks

Culture feast brightens city

COLOUR: This year's Diwali Festival was a hit.

Diwali Festival embraces happiness and joy

LETTER Monty Python circus with squirrels marrying squirrels

Squirrel in Yellowstone National Park during summer.  - User Contributed

God help us with the current crop of egomaniacs in Canberra

Bagging up some Christmas cheer

GOOD CAUSE: Wesley Mission representative Mike Jeffrey and Queenslander Credit Union CEO John Weier prepare for the Red Bag Appeal.

Almost half a million people are living below the poverty line

Local Partners

The Summer that Melted Everything

See what happens when you invite the devil to town

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

The Ipswich stamp fair has it all licked

RARE METAL: Dave Roberts with his aluminium Tongan stamps from 1965.

Ipswich stamp fair will feature rare and unusual stamps

Seven decades of keeping Ipswich entertained

This is what the Incinerator Theatre in Queens Park looked like when the Ipswich Little Theatre Society performed its first play.

Times Past with QT columnist Beryl Johnston

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track