Ecstasy 'too dangerous for downgrade', claims expert

By Synesthesiac · Nov 26, 2008 · Updated Nov 26, 2008 · ·
  1. Synesthesiac
    Ecstasy is too dangerous a drug to be downgraded, an expert in psychology said today.


    Professor Andy Parrott claimed it was a "very powerful" substance that could cause major physical and social harm. He presented his argument to a Government advisory council which is considering whether MDMA - the chemical name for the clubbers' drug - should be reclassified from Class A to Class B.

    Prof Parrott, from the Department of Psychology at Swansea University, said: "It's not a weak drug. It is one of the most powerful of the recreational drugs." He said that over the course of 14 years researching the issue, a number of problems had been reported by users, in particular those who took ecstasy regularly over a long period of time. In the immediate term, the stimulant damaged the brain and body by affecting neurotransmitters, causing the release of serotonin and leading to an increase in levels of the stress hormone cortisol while long term effects could include immune system problems, functional deficits in cognitive tests, altered information-processing, sleep disorders, memory problems, sexual dysfunction, as well as overheating (hyperpyrexia)-related deaths, liver and heart problems, according to Prof Parrott.

    Users found it took several days to recover from the weekend high created by ecstasy, with some experiencing "mid-week blues", increased aggression and loss of appetite. The new chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Professor David Nutt, has previously suggested ecstasy is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco. Prof Parrott gave a scathing criticism of two articles written by Prof Nutt in the last two years, one of which ranked ecstasy as 18th out of 20 drugs in terms of "harm".
    Nutt et al's rational scale for drug-related harm was published in 2007 in the Lancet and put heroin in number one position, followed by cocaine in second while tobacco was ninth.

    However, using evidence which he said Prof Nutt should have included, Prof Parrott's findings placed ecstasy in fifth place. "I have been fairly conservative," said Prof Parrott. "I was trying not to overstate it. But ecstasy is up there with the other Class A drugs as the fifth most dangerous drug.
    "My proposal is it should remain a Class A drug.
    "The proposal to downgrade MDMA should be withdrawn."

    Prof Parrott, who said he had already given Prof Nutt his views, also called for the Lancet article to be retracted because it was "full of factual errors". Prof Nutt said the ACMD would consider all evidence on the issue of reclassifying MDMA/ecstasy before it prepared a report to go to ministers in January. After the public session of today's meeting in central London, council members continued discussions on the subject in private.

    Source: Metro News;

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  1. dyingtomorrow
    Lancet is a fucking joke.

    It has heroin as the #1 most physically harmful drug.


    Apparently the study includes "physical harm" as what people do from not having the information they need, because of the government, to use it safely.

    Thank god for places like this site, which at least help counteract that fact.
  2. Synesthesiac
    Yeah your right, it got a score of 2.78, the next highest was cocaine with 2.33. It should still be ranked high on their study for the dependance category, but putting it as the highest on physical harm was just plain silly. If people were educated about it then it wouldn't be anywhere near as high.
  3. dyingtomorrow
    Yeah SWIM of all people can't contend with the physical dependence part - whoever put it at 2.78 must not have been getting very good shit.. LOL :)

    I really want to find some way to get that fucking stupid and inaccurate chart off the wikipedia Heroin article.
  4. Nature Boy
    The Lancet has slipped up on many occasions when it comes to analysing illegal drugs and have been far from scientific with their conclusions at times. They have never been able to find a catch-22 solution to ranking drugs because it's simply not as easy as that. Every drug effects the body differently and dosing, as well as frequency of use (on top of countless other factors), is incredibly inconsistent. One could just as easily come up with results to name, for example, cannabis as being the safest drug as one could call it the most harmful drug. Swap benign side effects with increased frequency in use or vice-versa.
  5. Lunar Loops
    "However, using evidence which he said Prof Nutt should have included, Prof Parrott's findings placed ecstasy in fifth place. "I have been fairly conservative," said Prof Parrott. "I was trying not to overstate it. But ecstasy is up there with the other Class A drugs as the fifth most dangerous drug."

    Hmmm, does anybody know anything further about what this supposed evidence actually is?
  6. helikophis
    A bit of an overstatement, that. I'm not going to say that it is a particularly physically harmful drug, because used sensibly it really isn't, but there are definitely other drugs that are less harmful. DMT and piracetum come to mind, but there are probably dozens of others.
  7. entheogensmurf
    SWIM has used MDMA 5 times.
    It was tested, so in theory it was in fact only MDMA.
    Never in excess of 120mg.
    This was over a course of 2 years.

    SWIM will probably never dose again.
    I fail to see the danger, unless someone Abuses X ;)
    To bring out my smirk inducing example: People friggen die from drinking too much water - although they aren't doing it to get high/feel good.

    Not that I deny that some people won't abuse anything to disgusting levels that makes them feel good.
    However, if I recall isn't the death rate something like 1 out of 100,000 for MDMA users, 200 out of 100,000 for tobacco users and 50 out of 1000,000 for boozers? :)
    I need to find the exact stat quote for death rates again to check my info.

    Oh well.
  8. Synesthesiac
    You dont need to check it, your nearly bang on m8.
    Isn't truth and statistics a wonderful thing?
  9. Zentaurus41
    The Lancert report wasnt just based on the physical harm a drug can do but other factors such as social harm and addiction potential etc. Heroin may not be the most toxic drug out there, but it is the one that causes the most harm.

    As for keeping MDMA as a class A drug, well thats just retarded but they are always christian do gooders who wana ban everything or push the most strongest punishment on things others wish to do that they disagree with. Its not about saving society from evil but nothing more than the dislike of people getting high.
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