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Schoolies drug concerns no worse than past

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Ed Jackson

Queensland police don't believe the death of a man following a mass overdose on the Gold Coast should have parents concerned about this year's Schoolies celebrations.

Thousands of school leavers are preparing for the annual pilgrimage to party on the streets of Surfers Paradise at the end of the month.

Victorian man Riki Stephens died after taking a combination of MDMA and a synthetic form of LSD while on an end-of-season football trip on the Gold Coast last month.

He was one of several people hospitalised after a mass overdose.

However, police don't believe synthetic drugs such as those taken by Mr Stephens pose any more risk than normal for school leavers.

"I don't know where these reports are coming from but I can tell you there's no evidence we know that there's going to be more drugs than any other time," Superintendent Craig Hanlon said.

"That (the overdose) is nothing to do with the school leavers event coming up. It was a separate incident that's being dealt with."

Schoolies begins on November 19 with Queensland students the first to arrive. Interstate students are set to arrive on the Gold Coast following the conclusion of the formal Schoolies celebrations at Surfers on November 26.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said the usual message of looking out for your mates remained for school leavers, as well as knowing when to take a break from celebrations.

"It's a week-long event, you tell your kids 'if you're tired, don't be ashamed to do an ET and call home," Mr Tate said.

"Ring home, they'll (parents) come and pick them up."

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