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.