Use of drug ecstasy way up: RCMP
Local pills highly addictive with methamphetamine added to them: Ottawa police
The use of the drug ecstasy has increased across Canada, especially in cities like Ottawa, and the type of ecstasy available is especially addictive, the RCMP said Tuesday.
The force has launched a drug-awareness website, based in British Columbia, to warn parents and others about the dangers of the drug.
On a Saturday night at a local Ottawa nightclub, young people say it's not uncommon to see ecstasy pills in circulation.
"Definitely, in the clubs, it's definitely there. [It's] definitely being passed around," said student Galena Riddell.
"You can definitely find it. It's available, if you're looking for it," said another student, Tom Stieber.
"Ecstasy's the happy drug. So I guess that when you're bored, you wanna do something that's fun, and ecstasy puts you in that mood," said Remi Perron.
"These raves, these big parties, these all-nighters, there's usually people either inside or outside that are selling these pills," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Pierre Mudie. "They're very prevalent."
Mudie said ecstasy is quickly becoming the drug of choice for youth across the country.
"It's so cheap. In the market, you can get one for $5. So it's very available, easy to hide," he said.
Just last year, police in Ottawa seized about 15,000 ecstasy pills. That's more than double the average from the previous three years, making it one of the most common drugs in the city.
Police also say the ecstasy on the streets now is different from what was available earlier.
"What we're seeing here in Ottawa in most of the ecstasy being seized is that there is methamphetamine added to it, for its addictive property," said Ottawa police Const. J.P. Vincelette. "People using it get addicted to it, and therefore want to buy more."
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | 11:25 AM ET