Actual headline "Ecstasy helps us deal with drunks, say cops"

By Beeker · Aug 10, 2008 · ·
  1. Beeker
    [h1]Ecstasy helps us deal with drunks, say cops[/h1]

    By Robyn Ironside
    August 09, 2008 02:15am

    IF it was not for the prevalence of ecstasy in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, understaffed police say they would struggle to cope with the drunken violence.

    Last Saturday night only 15 officers were rostered on to deal with up to 60,000 people in the entertainment precinct - one officer for every 4000 people.

    A Central District officer who did not want to be named said they had about the same number of police rostered on Saturday nights as they did weekday mornings.

    "We're at the point where we're saying thank God 80 per cent of them are using an illegal drug rather than alcohol, even though in 10 years they'll be suffering manic depressive disorders," the officer said.

    "But we just couldn't deal with that many people affected by alcohol."

    He said police were not able to deliver a satisfactory "level of service" and were flat out responding to calls rather than undertaking preventative actions.

    "It is embarrassing. We've sworn an oath to do certain things and we're not being given the resources to achieve that," the officer said.

    Drug Arm national communications manager Josie Loth said it was well known that illicit drugs such as ecstasy were much more prevalent in the Valley than other parts of Brisbane.

    "It's deemed more acceptable than in the city because the Valley's the alternative scene and always has been," Ms Loth said.

    She said although ecstasy was a stimulant it tended to relax people but alcohol had the opposite effect. "When certain people drink . . . it brings out more of a violent tendency, often leading to problems," Ms Loth said.

    Australian Medical Association Emergency Department spokeswoman Alex Markwell said alcohol definitely contributed to a lot more injuries than drugs.

    "Young men especially can become aggressive on alcohol and get involved in fights and assaults," she said.

    "The really common things that we see at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital are head injuries where they've fallen over and hit their heads and we see lots of people with broken hands after hitting people."

    "It really is very frustrating from a medical perspective because it chews up our resources. If people didn't drink we wouldn't see anywhere near as many patients as we do."

    Police said that although drug users tended not to cause as many problems as binge drinkers, they were "competing horrors".

    "The big thing a lot of us feel is that one of the most dangerous and insidious things about 'e' (ecstasy) is that most young people think it's not hurting them but every time they use it, it's hurting them a little," the officer said.

    "We deal with them all the time; these kids who are now 30 or 40 who are suffering serious mental health problems as a result of their drug use in their 20s. Often it ends in suicide."

    Queensland Police Union president Cameron Pope declined to comment on the drug use in Fortitude Valley but he said the staffing shortages in the district were not an isolated issue.

    A Queensland Police Service spokesman said an "intelligence based" roster system was used in the Central District of the Valley and CBD which made public safety the primary objective. "Officers are rostered during peak periods to respond to calls for service," the spokesman said.

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  1. Stephenwolf
    but weren't the studies that said MDMA were seriously dangerous fake? Also wouldn't the dangers of "E" be removed drastically if it was actually controlled? More puzzling is If E users are much less likely to hurt people and much less violent and less likely to end up in the hospital then Why is it its illegal but Alcohol isn't? The Police are GLAD these people are breaking the law because they aren't as dangerous as the ones who are well within the law...Thats screwed up... What the Hell?? Why does that make sence to these people?
  2. stoneinfocus
    Well, swim (am I shizophrenic *lol*?) made the observation, in the last 15 years, that the scenario described in this article was exactly the same in his region; techno and illegal drugs equated to a peaceful, worksome youth-culture of love and solidarity.

    When this scene had been busted, because of the complaints and denunziations of angry neighbours about the typical discos and of users/small scale dealers, resp., by help of the police, they're now dealing with a violent alcohol- and hip-hop, disco-pop-carnival-powered crime-scene with stabbings, brawls and drunk&drive deaths again, even murder and all that envy and pride-bullshit.

    Swim also made the observation, that the depressions and problems found in the users, back then, were solely due to Peer pressure and the illegality and that those were mobbed, outcluded and personally demeaned at their working places, where the conservative damnation of illegal druguse and users was prevalent.

    Swim doesn't know about long-term damage himself, he can, however, tell, that those, who were and still are low-profile longterm occasional(!) users, were/are damn cool and nice people, with absolutely zero observable mental or whatsoever problems, on the contrary, those, who never used such a drug are cold-hearted, angry ideologists, supported by a bunch of scumbags, with a could-well-be-called conspirative hate- and mobbing-agenda against non-conformative peeps, relative to their way of live, or -better- slander; I don't know, usually there's no logic in what work and live is worth living in their eyes and which one isn't, it's usually just a hierarchy in which the youth has to shut the fuck up and take it all/play by their rules.

    Long story short; I'd say there can't be a conclusive relation to the herein stated manic-depressive behaviour in extasy users considering the long-term outcome; swim might be wrong and not conclusive, too, but this was his observation on a not-that-small-ish group of users, he encoutered the last 15 years in his live and him, having been cleaner and more of an ascete, than the avarage monk for like 9 years, knows, what pure slander can affect, so he turned actively again to the dark (sumisum) side of live; "by doing time, why not commit the crime."
  3. Panthers007
    Great. Now MDMA makes the cops have an easier life*. We made a button some years back. It had a picture of a billy-club. The caption was: Help Your Local Police. Beat Yourself Up.

    * - I hope this makes some folk cut down on their intake.
  4. entheogensmurf
    I do agree that young, and one might say the ignorant, fail to realize the dangers associated with Ecstasy cut with naughty adulterants. Also, I believe many simply don't care about the consequences. I'll repeat myself in my babble below.

    If only it was legal and pure MDMA the "competing horrors" would be decreased if not removed.

    I would like to see cited information which backs this up.

    Perhaps they have forgotten or never known that MDMA was used heavily in the 80's. We are not seeing surges of depressed and suicidal people from that era matching their conclusion about MDMA use. That is, unless I'm mistaken :)

    Now, of course, I would postulate that we could see more negatives for Ecstasy use now -- as a direct result of the black market production and distribution which entails the decent chance of taking MDMA+Meth or something else which does in fact damage the brain. I picture MDMA as having the potential of being harmful when abused (of course) and it is increased significantly when other stimulants open the user up to the harms of MDMA that are not there when used alone and in moderation.

    Also, I do get the feeling, from my reading, that many X users do in fact abuse MDMA. What I mean by abuse is using too high of a dose and too many times. To look at this logically, we can infer this from alcohol. Booze in itself is fairly harmless, but, when you drink in excess and too frequently or binge, the probability of harm increases if not guaranteed.

    Yet again, education on how MDMA works, how one can use it in harm reductive ways and hopefully instill the desire to care would be fundamental keys to removing or diminishing the "damages" of Ecstasy use.

    One of the current (although I'm sure this prevails throughout history in different levels/ways) problems is that the many people simply don't give a shit if they are hurting themselves in a permanent manner. They might opt to be a little bit safer but if it hampers them too much, fuck it! I've never seen a problem with temporary declines from using drugs, as they go away. Not that I'm one to drink alcohol or drink in excess but those hangovers are more of an annoyance. I forgot how much one typically needs to drink to actually damage the body in distressing ways.

    People tend to judge everyone by the abusers and people who don't care, which is odd indeed if you use alcohol for an example. People typically do not demonize alcohol as a whole, even after the plethora of abusers cause havoc, harm and death.
    They don't shun consumers of wine or beer lovers who drink out of pleasure of taste. But when it comes to drugs such as MDMA, they cast this encompassing stereotype on all who may use X on a more responsible level. I refer to moderate X users for recreation and those who would use it for psychotherapeutic value.

    And seeing someone refer to alcohol and drugs as a separate entities helps keep the conscious raising below par. Alcohol is a friggen drug. It is merely in our minds that we keep them as different things. If only she had said "other drugs," I wouldn't be whining ;)

    I am only guessing here but if we had just invented alcohol today, it would be referred to as a drug in place of how we currently view the beverage.

    Lastly, I sincerely wish they would dump more research in the preventive measures such as pre/post loading to diminish/negate the neurotoxicity of MDMA use. I for one would probably dose with MDMA every 4-6 months on a regular basis if we had more data which highly ensures we are not permanently damaging the good ole brain. My idea of a dose would be above that of the therapy mind you, and that is where I imagine the higher chance of damage can occur.

    The end.
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