Footballer in coma, after suspected 'zombie drug' overdose
HE was one of the 16 rushed to hospital on the Gold Coast in one of Queensland's worst mass overdose episodes on the weekend.
Now footballer Riki Stephens, of Victoria, is in a coma and according to his club president Andrew Conforti, "Riki's not out of the woods yet".
Fairfax reports that Mr Stephens is understood to be one of the eight people who remain in hospital after 16 were taken into care over a 48-hour period.
The culprit is thought to be a drug nicknamed "flakka", which has also been dubbed a "zombie drug" for the behaviour it causes in users.
One woman who thought she may have accidentally ingested the drug, told the Gold Coast Bulletin the drug caused hallucinations that were vivid and terrifying.
"I was seeing my friend having a seizure and stuff. Obviously it was a hallucination but it was so vivid,'' she said.
"You weren't happy - it was really demonic, almost."
Flakka is considered a synthetic version of cocaine, but thought to be 10-times more powerful and exponentially less predictable.
Some reports suggest the overdoses however, may be linked to a frightening new form of ecstacy.