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ECSTASY LOSES ITS RISK-FREE ALLURE

By Alfa, Apr 19, 2004 | | |
  1. Alfa
    ECSTASY LOSES ITS RISK-FREE ALLURE

    Research shows that clubbers' drug can lead to long-term dependence,
    reports Jamie Doward

    Ecstacy in barely 20 years, has become the drug of choice for a nation
    of clubbers and is taken by up to 700,000 people in Britain every
    week. It's seen as a no-risk, hangover-free designer drug for people
    who party hard at weekends but suffer no obvious comedown in the week.
    As supply has soared and demand increased among 15- to 24-year-olds,
    the price of the 'happy pill' has fallen to as little as UKP3. However,
    research unveiled at a scientific conference yesterday links ecstasy
    to mental health problems that are prompting long-term users to give
    it up.

    Three separate reports, published at the British Psychological
    Society's meeting this weekend, tell of a drug that restricts mental
    ability, causes long-term sleep disturbance and encourages
    psychological dependence.

    The reports are likely to be seized on by those scientists who have
    insisted for years that ecstasy is harmful but who failed to win the
    PR war when it came to backing up their claims.

    They were dealt a severe blow last September, when US scientists at
    Johns Hopkins University in Maryland retracted claims linking ecstasy
    use to brain damage, admitting that their research was flawed. The US
    team confessed they had mistakenly fed monkeys amphetamine rather than
    ecstasy.

    Now the new research is likely to provoke calls for further
    investigation into the side-effects of a drug that was linked to the
    deaths of 72 people in the UK in 2002, the latest figures available.

    'In America, users seem to be more aware that there are dangers with
    ecstasy. But in the UK, especially among 15- to 24-year-old users who
    take it quite a lot, there is a lack of awareness of what it may
    result in later,' said Lynn Taurah, a psychology researcher at London
    Metropolitan University.

    Taurah was part of a team that studied the effects of a range of drugs
    on sleep patterns. About 1,000 people were divided into different
    groups - non-drug-takers; those who drank and smoked; users of a
    number of drugs; those who took just ecstasy; and former ecstasy users.

    Participants filled in a questionnaire that produced a picture of
    their sleep patterns and came up with a score of one to 21: the higher
    the figure, the more disturbed the sleep. The control's score was
    four. Ecstasy users registered between 11 and 12, significantly higher
    than the other groups.

    Former ecstasy users - some of whom hadn't touched the
    drug for seven
    years - registered 9.5, suggesting to the researchers that 'the
    effects of the drug on sleep are long-lasting'.

    The links between sleep disturbance and ecstasy had not been
    documented before, so that the findings will provide counsellors with
    ammunition to warn users about the dangers of taking the drug.

    'Many users have reported disrupted sleeping patterns from drugs such
    as cocaine, crack cocaine and amphetamine in particular, but we have
    no data clearly relating ecstasy use to sleeping disorders such as
    insomnia,' said Peter Martin, chief executive of the drug and alcohol
    treatment charity, Addaction. 'All new research data on this is
    welcome, of course, because we need to ensure we are responding with
    correct treatment,' Martin added.

    The results appear to corroborate earlier studies of monkeys, which
    found that primates experienced chronic sleep disturbance when
    subjected to four days of consecutive ecstasy injections.

    Taurah said she hoped the study's findings would act as a wake-up
    call. 'Sleep is a fundamental part of life. Its disturbance has an
    effect on concentration and has been shown to increase accidents on
    the road, in the home and at work. There are also clear links between
    sleep disturbance and depression,' Taurah said.

    A separate study by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University
    tried to gauge the effects of ecstasy on mental ability. A group of
    users and another of non-users were asked to perform a range of tasks
    such as writing down all the four-letter words beginning with the
    letter C that they could think of in five minutes.

    The scientists found that those who took ecstasy could recall an
    average of 10 words, while those who did not came up with 16. 'These
    differences are statistically significant,' said Dr Phillip Murphy,
    who presented the paper. 'In all tests, we found that users did not
    perform as well as non-users.'

    Murphy also interviewed more than 300 ecstasy users to gauge whether
    their opinion of the drug had changed as they continued to use it. His
    research found that long-term users constantly weighed the pros and
    cons and that, after two years, its appeal started to wane.

    Of the 328 people surveyed, only 20 who had been using the drug for
    seven years or more believed that the pluses outweighed the minuses.
    Nevertheless, the study found that, even after two years, the majority
    of users still felt sufficiently positive about the drug's effects to
    keep using it.

    'It is likely that some users come to prefer the person they are, and
    the world they experience, under the influence of the drug. This may
    be seen as a form of psychological dependence, even though they are
    not physically addicted to it,' Murphy said.

    [sidebar]

    ECSTASY: THE FACTS

    Scientific name: methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Also known as
    'E'

    Cost of a pill in 1994: UKP20

    Cost of a pill in 2004: UKP3-UKP5

    Number of pills consumed each week in Britain according to the National
    Criminal Intelligence Service: between 500,000 and 2 million

    Number of ecstasy-related deaths of people in the UK in 1996:
    12

    Number of ecstasy-related deaths of people in the UK in 2002:
    72

    Percentage of the UK population that took ecstasy in 1990:
    1

    Percentage of the UK population that took ecstasy in 2003:
    2.2

    Total number of tonnes of ecstasy produced a year: 120

Comments

  1. Chevelle
    [Post deleted]
  2. robertone
    It's all in the name; Foundation for a drug free world! Any website that claim to be for a drug free world, will not be objective in their facts. And offcourse almost all drugs does have negative side effects. But doesn't junkfood have negative effects also? It's the the information/education about the use the user gets which make the use dangerous or not. The problem with wrong [negative] information about drugs is that potential users (it's in the human nature to experientate) will doubt any information coming from that source and start to believe street information instead. For good information and education about drugs it's essential that governments will accept that drug use is in the human nature and will start to make laws that regulate the availability and use of drugs. Prohibition will only favour criminals as well criminalize potential users, it won't prevent users to use it.
  3. Chevelle
    What if all drugs were totally legal? What do you think would become of a world where everyone freely used any and all drugs they wanted to?

    It's a hypothetical question but don't you think it reflects on whether something is right or wrong?
  4. augentier
    Chevelle - though you say that's a hypothetical question, I have to answer. A world with all drugs legal does not mean that everyone would be using them, whenever they wanted, and blah blah blah.. People are doing that right now. People will use as many drugs as they want and whenever they want and as often as they want right now. The legality of drugs causes a very small difference in the amount of users and the severity of use. I know very few people who refuse to do something just because "it's illegal". Look at Amsterdam - the number of actual residents there who smoke weed or do "soft drugs" is actually pretty small. The biggest number of users in Amsterdam are tourists.

    Anyway, back on the topic of X..I never knew about it when it first came around (obviously)..but by the time I knew what it was (probably like in middle school?), I never thought it was safe..I don't think any of my peers did, either..to my knowledge and experience, everyone I've come across realizes that X is notoriously adulterated, therefore potentially dangerous. It's one of the riskiest drugs in my opinion (only because pills can have several different chemicals in them other than MDMA) .. it sounds like those horror stories about X are either from people who take WAY too much, are really sensitive to it, or the pills were adulterated and the user didn't know and again, probably took too much. Chomping on glass for hours sounds more like something that someone with lots of speed in there system would do after being up for days and going into some sort of psychosis - I don't believe that these situations are common.
  5. robertone
    X, MDMA, is (was) quite safe to use when it wasn't an illigal drug. Of course the use of MDMA has, like any other drug including Aspirin, its dangers. But when X was still 'legal' available, X contained pretty sure 90 to 125 mg MDMA. Sellers and producers who putted something else in their X where told to f* off with their shit and first time users where supplied with trustfull information as well guidance. However, since X (MDMA) is prohibited the actual substance X contain is very doubtfull and good guidance for first time users is seldom given. Actually, the story that X was safe to use only arised in the first days after its prohibition. Before the tell was that its reasonably safe if one would not mix it with other drugs, drink enough, never use it alone and wouldn't use it too frequently; MDMA has the tendence not giving the same feeling when used the next day, to get the same feeling (an amazing connection with everyone and liking to talk about feelings with others like never before) again one had to wait at least three days for the next take in.
  6. rizla677
    "The results appear to corroborate earlier studies of monkeys, which
    found that primates experienced chronic sleep disturbance when
    subjected to four days of consecutive ecstasy injections."

    LOLOLOLOLOL
    If swim had been injected with lab pure mdma for four consecutive days he would have sleep disturbance too. they make no mention of the amounts injected. swim don't tink he'll be sleepin properly for days lol
  7. bcubed
    If drugs were all totally legal, there would be more incentive to provide less addictive drugs...as it stands, the substantial risk those in the drug trade are running require that they make huge profits to compensate. There's only so much a recreational user's willing to pay, but a desperate addict will pay much more (i.e. very few convenience store holdups for "acid money").

    Also, the substances in question would be much more likely to be of consistent quality and unadulterated. For instance, the whole "moonshine makes you blind" scare came about because unethical moonshiners were cutting their booze with "methylated spirits" (ethanol+methanol) and people would go blind if the cut was too greedy. Actually it's almost impossible to distill a dangreous amount of methanol.
  8. darawk
    This study is obviously flawed. Where do people most use ecstasy? Raves. What time in the morning do raves generally end? 4-5. Obviously ecstasy users will have disturbed sleep patterns, this study proves absolutely nothing.

    They could easily draw the same correlations for people who drink coffee at night, or are prescribed adderall.
  9. Nagognog2
    Hijacking dormant threads and re-molding them into a different topic is poor manners.

    CLOSED.
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