December 15, 2005

Ecstasy - Street Drug Problems

A news story out of Canada reports that evaluations of the party drug "Ecstasy" has shown that is actually includes many other illegal drugs - many of which impact the brain in harmful ways.

The Financial Post reported today (as shown in this short excerpt):

"Methamphetamine has been found in 76% of pills seized as Ecstasy at raves, clubs and dances in B.C.'s Lower Mainland over the past year, police have found.

Officers believe the huge increase over 1999 test results, which showed the drug in only 8% of tested samples, may be partly a consumer-driven phenomenon.

"You're not making it weaker. You're making it stronger. Obviously, someone likes that," said Corporal Scott Rintoul of the RCMP's drug-awareness section. "The carrot that's dangling out there is the meth, not the Ecstasy."

Of the 137 tablets tested at Health Canada labs so far in 2005, 125 contained MDMA, or Ecstasy.

Of those 125, 95 contained meth. The median amount of meth in the tablets was eight milligrams, with 16 mg the high and four mg the low.

Meth's promise of energy and invigoration may now be what's drawing the party crowd to "speedy" Ecstasy, Cpl. Rintoul suggested.

"That's quite a dangerous slope we're on right now," he said. Cpl. Rintoul is also concerned that regular Ecstasy users may be building up dangerous addictions to meth without knowing it.

Dr. Bill MacEwan, a psychiatrist at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver who works extensively with people suffering from drug-induced psychosis and mental illness, said the most recent results reflect what he sees in his ward.

Dr. MacEwan said patients occasionally arrive at hospital with all the tell-tale symptoms of meth abuse -- anxiety, psychosis and hallucinations -- but they insist on never actually having done meth, only Ecstasy."


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