‘It was the most stupid mistake we ever made’
FIVE days after they were rushed to hospitals across Perth in critical conditions, four of the nine backpackers who suffered a mass overdose have issued an apology to Australia.
The group said snorting the mystery white powder, later revealed to be the motion sickness drug Hyoscine, was a "stupid mistake".
"It was the most stupid mistake probably we ever did in our life," one male backpacker told 7 News Perth.
The last of the nine backpackers woke up this morning after spending the past five days in the intensive care unit. He is now stable.
The group of four spoke about the harrowing effects the drug had on them, completely immobilising them.
"You can't move your legs, you can't move nothing," one female told the network.
"You can't speak, you can't say help us."
The backpackers believed the package, which was sent from New York, was cocaine however after snorting it, all nine of them had a violent reaction to the powder.
One of the discharged men, who spoke to The West Australian last week, said the drug made it feel like his face was "melting off".
He said he was "trying to scream for help" but couldn't get his mouth to move.
Both emergency services and the backpackers who took the drug praised the women who called 000. It was her fast thinking that most likely meant all of the nine will recover.
"She saved our lives, really, I don't know how many times I could say thanks to this girl," one backpacker told 7 News.
"Had it not been for the early 000 call and medical intervention on Tuesday night, the consequences could have be much worse than they were," Acting Deputy Commissioner Gary Budge said.
The lengths doctors in Perth had to go to save the nine means they are now facing thousands of dollars in hospital bills - something the group of backpackers are all too happy to pay.
"Of course we have to pay for the mistake that we did. There's no point that the taxpayer has to pay for us, we have to pay," one said. "We have to pay and we are going to pay."
The group were especially apologetic to Australia and warned people to learn from their mistakes.
"Don't do it. Don't take drugs," one said.
While Hyoscine is commonly used to treat motion sickness, sold under the brand names Travacalm and Kwells, it is also well-known in South America as the "zombie drug".
The drug is becoming a popular date-rape drug as it puts people in a "zombie-like" state which makes it easier to sexually abuse or rob them.
Three of the backpackers to survive the harrowing drug overdose were the first to return to the Victoria Park home where the near-death experience happened, catching taxis to the house on January 3.
It was the day after the mass overdose happened when one was photographed still wearing his hospital gown and another still wearing his ECG electrodes while they laughed, hugged and shared a handshake with friends.
Those affected by the drug included five French citizens aged 21, 22 and 24, two Germans aged 21 and 22, one Italian aged 25 and a Moroccan aged 24.