The consumption of ecstasy, well-known chemical drug, has increased in recent years in Peru and has surpassed that of cocaine, according to a study from Cedro, Peru’s center for drug abuse information and education. The study was done in 13 cities throughout the country and included more than 10,000 people between 12 and 64 years of age.
According to the investigation, consumption levels of other drugs have remained steady. Ecstasy use has gone up significantly, no longer limited to rave parties but also used significantly in tropical music events.
About 203,139 Peruvians—representing 1.53 percent of the total population—have consumed ecstasy pills at some point. Ecstasy is an amphetamine that produces hallucinations caused by stimuli like lights or loud music, explained Cedro specialist Alfonso Zavala.
The drug can cause very serious and even lethal damage, as it generates abnormally rapid heartbeats, excessive sweating, dehydration, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. It can cause heart failure, leading to death.
“If someone takes the pill and is also consuming alcohol, they’re going to have a very bad time, because both are diuretics and cause very severe dehydration. It’s a terrible combination,” Zavala told Andina.
The biggest users of ecstasy, according to the study, are young people between 12 and 18 years old, who now pay between $8 and $15 per pill, as compared with $30 in previous years. The drug is brought in largely from China. It is easy to pass through customs since it can be confused with medical pills, Zavala said.
The specialist added that marijuana is still the most used drug in Peru, with an average age of 17 at first consumption, though children as young as 12 can also be consumers.
March 11, 2011
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