Tragedies like this sometimes lead to new research tools like MPTP.. if in fact this is attributable to a novel toxicant on the street. Psychologists should be alert to presentations with striking sudden onset amnesia presentations in their hospitals or clinics:
"...MRI of the head, toxicology screening, and neurologic consultation should be considered in all adults aged ≥18 years with sudden-onset amnesia, particularly in patients with altered consciousness. Advanced laboratory testing, including testing for synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl) and their analogues, as well as extraneous substances not assessed in these reported cases, might further clarify an association with substance use..."
Barash JA, Somerville N, DeMaria A Jr.. Cluster of an Unusual Amnestic Syndrome — Massachusetts, 2012–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:76–79. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6603a2