1. Terrapinzflyer
    Ecstasy 'the most deadly stimulant'

    Ecstasy is more likely to kill young, healthy people than other stimulants such as speed and crystal meth, a new study has suggested.

    Researchers looked at stimulant-related deaths across the UK between 1997 and 2007.

    They found that those who died after taking ecstasy were younger and healthier than those who died after taking amphetamines.

    This was despite the fact that ecstasy is itself an amphetamine derivative.
    The findings were described as "a cause for concern" by the lead author of the study.

    Professor Fabrizio Schifano of the University of Hertfordshire's School of Pharmacy said: "These data seem to support the hypothesis that young individuals seem to suffer extreme consequences after excessive intake of ecstasy. This is an issue of public health concern which deserves further studies."

    The study found that 832 people had died as a result of amphetamines and methylamphetamines over the 11 years in question while 605 deaths were ecstasy-related.

    Prof Schifano said it was not clear why those aged 16 to 24 were more susceptible to the effects of ecstasy.

    "Ecstasy and amphetamines are very much part of the same pharmacological group so when you compare deaths, you would expect there may have been the same mortality rates," he said. But for some reason that we don't know, ecstasy appears to be more toxic than the amphetamines classed as a group, especially in young people. This is worrying because most of the people taking ecstasy are young."

    The figures came from the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths database and from the British Crime Survey.

    (UKPA) – 4 hours ago


    COMMENT: If anyone can find this gem of "research" I would love to see it. Somehow I doubt they failed to take into consideration that in many (most?) cases the "ecstasy" was most likely in fact amphetamine/methamphetamine/piperazine etc. Also must wonder if they took into account poly drug use, or the fact that "Ecstasy" is often used at races/dances where the exertion and amibient room temperatures increase the risks associated with any stimulant.

    I can think of no other research in the long history of MDMA showing it to be particularly dangerous.


  1. LadyGrinningSoul
    It also has to be taken into consideration how a lot of people take a stupid amount of E's. Swim has known people to take a dozen at times.
  2. Joe-(5-HTP)
    ^^ you need to reach silver membership to edit posts.

    on topic:
    might it not be true that most methamphetamine users are older and most ecstasy users are younger? Also, is it not true that many deaths attributed to 'ecstasy' were probably piperazine or, indeed, meth pills rather than MDMA.

    The understanding of statistics by the author is less than basic.
  3. gergmacmillan
    i would have to agree. another thing to consider is the fact that alot of young people who take ecstasy frequently probably go out to raves etc, and dance for hours and hours, and in such a state is is very easy to get dehydrated. SWIM appreciates that this aspect of ecstasy can be pretty fun to experience (the dancing at a rave part, not the dehydration part), however he feels that this is a waste of good mdma that could be used in moderation for personal psychotherapeutic purposes.
  4. Spucky
  5. Greenport
    Well if ecstasy was still mdma instead of piperazines and all this other shit people put in them to make a profit, then maybe there wouldn't be any damn deaths from it.
  6. Alfa
    Mind that Fabrizio Schifano leads the EU Psychonaut project.
  7. Spucky
    AW: Re: Ecstasy 'the most deadly stimulant'

    That`s right, he is really well known!

    Edit: i tried to get this study today but it`s not free for posting yet,
    because of the Copyright, only by pay by view!
  8. Terrapinzflyer
    Comment: This must be related to this study, coming on its heels like this.

    Ecstasy tablets kills more Australians
    MORE than 100 young Australians have died after taking ecstasy in the eight years to 2008, The Sunday Mail can reveal.

    A ground-breaking report into the use of the drug, whose scientific name is MDMA, shows it claimed 82 Australian lives over five years from 2000 – and fatalities are increasing.

    Conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the study into MDMA-related deaths in Australia is the biggest and most comprehensive analysis to date, and has prompted calls for further research into its prevalence.

    Additional figures obtained by The Sunday Mail show another 23 people died from 2006 to 2008, which is considered to be an "under-representation" due to many cases still under investigation.

    Of those, 10 deaths were reported in 2006, seven in 2007 and six in 2008, with 65 per cent of victims aged between 20-29 and more than 70 per cent male.

    More than 80 per cent of the deaths were unintentional and 15 of the 23 victims took other drugs along with the MDMA, including cannabis or alcohol.

    In the earlier cases examined by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, 91 per cent of the deaths were directly caused by drug toxicity and MDMA was the sole drug involved in a quarter of cases. It also contributed to a number of drownings, cardiovascular conditions and car accidents.

    Funded by the federal Department of Health and Ageing, the report found the median age of fatalities was 26, with the youngest victim aged 17 and the oldest being 58.

    "While reports of MDMA-related death are far less common than those of opioid, amphetamine and cocaine, the number of MDMA-related deaths appears to be increasing," the study said

    Lisa Mayoh
    January 30, 2010 11:00pm.

  9. Greenport
    Hey now swiM didn't just say that without justification. The fact is that the major compound known to be in ecstasy, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphtamine is relatively safe and benign not only in comparison to other amphetamines, but especially to drugs like PMA and piperazines which have a much higher side-effect profile. BZP/TMFPP have been known to cause migraine headaches, seizures, and have a hard 'crash'. PMA obviously causes overheating and has been linked to many deaths, and the classic amphetamines are easier to overdose on than MDMA - seeing as they are moreso of CNS stimulants than is MDMA. MDMA itself has caused very few deaths (less than 100 swiM once heard) - and in almost all cases was the result of a combination of drugs, and dehydration.

    With the criminalization of MDMA and destruction of precursors leading to the drug - tied in with the availability of these 'mimic' drugs with higher side-effect profiles, these drugs are finding their way into these street pills and most people who take the drug 'ecstasy' pay little mind to whether the pills are pure or not. The people who put these drugs in the pills do not care about your life, they are concerned about a profit and little more. Not only that but the side-effect profile increases as users take more of the drug, which with MDMA is, while still risky, not nearly as dangerous as it is with some of the other drugs that can find their way into these pills. And because people aged 16-24 do not yet consider risks the same way as adults do they are more likely to overdose - which in MDMA's case just like any drug isn't great but isn't likely to kill a person..but in meth or PMA or piperazine's case can be deadly! Combine this with the likeliness of our youth to take the drug at a party setting, possibly combining with alcohol and other drugs and excessive dancing without hydration, it's not surprising that 'ecstasy' in terms of the drug that is on our street TODAY would cause more deaths than simple amphetamines..

    That doesn't mean that MDMA is causing these deaths. There is a very significant difference, and that is what swiM feels this article has skipped over completely.
  10. pinksox
    In SWIM's personal opinion, that guy is a tad bit if a knee-jerking fruitloop. The last thing she saw him hammering about was something from the Psychonaut convention where he gave a presentation making all sorts of inane claims with absolutely zero empirical data to back his claims up. "Supposedly" studies were done; however, SWIM(who has broad access to these things) has yet to find were it was published--despite scouring for it.

    Anyone who makes broad, wild claims without publishing valid studies for peer review and then claims to be an "expert" in the arena merely borders on, "charletan and political public mouthpiece with an important-sounding title" to SWIM.

    SWIM knows he reads here. Perhaps he'd be kind enough to grace us with copies of these studies so that we make judge for ourselves whether there's any validity to any, some, or all or what he claims.
  11. gergmacmillan
    swim thinks that there is a lack of solid evidence either way to show if mdma is more dangerous, and he has seen different sides of the argument from different pharmacologists. Swim knows that Dr. Shulgin felt that mdma was one of the safest compounds he had encountered in the amphetmine class, however cannot remember the reasoning behind this and is pretty sure that this might have been before wide spread use (and abuse) became prevalent. Professor David Nutt, one of the top pharmacologists in Britain, compiled a report that ranked commonly used recreational substances based on risk of dependence, bodily harm, and social harm (as well as containing good information on the influence of the media, political pressure, and societal perspective on drugs).

    This report can be found by searching for 'Professor Nutt's report.'

    He ranks MDMA as one of the least dangerous recreational chemicals, behind alcohol, tobacco, methylphenidate and cannabis among almost all others, and also points out that MDMA seems to be the most 'attacked' in the media; over a ten year period the number of people who died from MDMA use in Scotland was 28, 26 of which were reported in newspapers (1:1), compared with the 265 deaths from acetaminophen of which only one was reported (265:1)

    Professor Nutt was consequently fired from his job as Head of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (to the British government) for this list, and the fact that it calls for a rescheduling of compounds based on FACTS as opposed to media bias and bureaucracy nonsense.

    swim is inclined to beleive him as the bulk of his research has been in serotonin receptors, GABA receptors, and the mechanisms that cause anxiety and addiction.

    either way, no drug should be abused, but if used responsibly and in moderation your body should be able to deal with most of the common psychoactives that are to be found
  12. Terrapinzflyer
    The turtle remembers when MDMA was banned in the US- a government panel had been set up to study its safety/usefulness. Their unanimous recommendation was that it was too valuable to make schedule I, which of course was ignored. Now, over 2 decades later the FDA has not only approved some MDMA research, but approved the researchers themselves taking it, would seem to imply an admission of sorts that its dangers have been wildly overstated.
  13. Nature Boy
    The only reasons I can think of that MDMA might result in more deaths than amphetamine are social and related to method of intake/dosage. Aside from the obvious danger of impurities and combining drugs, ecstasy use has been far more popular than amphetamine use in the past decade or two. Users of popularized drugs can carry this dick-sizing (irony noted when discussing ecstasy) mentality where they'll try to out-do each other by taking massive, unnecessary doses. Think of students downing shots and beer bongs in chug-fests, if you will. Amphetamine isn't used in such a way. I can't imagine many people would use to speed, on its own, in doses capable of killing. People don't actively brag about how much speed they can handle. It's not a very glamorous drug.

    In terms of MDMA crystals, people often underestimate their doses. A seasoned clubber might be used to knocking back five or six pills on an average night but this can often mean that actual MDMA content is really just a good medium-to-large dose. If someone were to buy a gram of pure MDMA and knock it back in two or three skinbombs, who's to tell what kind of damage they'd be in for.

    Generally speaking, MDMA and amphetamine aren't particularly dangerous as long as people know what they're doing. Comparing the two is a lot like comparing two very different types of hard liquor. They're both equally threatening if used incorrectly.
  14. gergmacmillan
    swim definitely agrees that the dangers of mdma have been massively overstated (that was part of the point of the article he referred to in his last post), and that up until very recently the medical value of mdma had been widely ignored, however there is no logical link here that proves the inherent safety of MDMA over time. swim himself believes mdma to be a relatively safe chemical when used responsibly, and that its risks are far outweighed by its benefits.

    his only point was that there has basically been no way to study the long term effects of mdma use, especially since it has only been a popular drug for around thirty years or so, and that some of the pharmacological data deserves to be considered. obviously there are the total myths we have all heard: mdma drains spinal fluid, burns holes in your brain, etc, and these are all the result of a poorly informed public, propaganda, and media bias. however there is medical data to suggest that taking mdma regularly (especially in high quantities) could causes the destruction of serotonin terminals in the cerebral cortex and striatum regions of the brain, as well as neurotoxic lesions on these receptors and while most evidence is inconclusive, the general consensus within the scientific community seems to be that over time excessive MDMA use can inhibit some cognitive function (though the mechanism is unclear).
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