I’m sorry but I take grave issue with this article, I find it very misleading. Certainly there are inherent risks in taking drugs, especially those which are chemical in nature and it’s important to get that message accross. However surely it’s more dangerous for people to be given confusing or false information. Regardless of their legality people will use drugs. What we need is factual information from trustworthy sources. In the Netherlands a prevalence of high purity/strong ecstasy hasn’t lead to an increase in the number of deaths. However maybe that’s because the Dutch insist on only listing deaths which are directly attributable to any given substance. Most notably they’ve reported almost no ecstasy deaths in the last few years. Overheating, dehydration, mixing drugs with other substances or contaminants don’t count in their eyes. Moreover a drop in the average price of Ecstasy nationwide hasn’t lead to any more widespread use than was previously mesured according to reports published this year.
Personally I believe drug use should be seen in two ways. As a recreational activity and as a form of escapism or a disease. Surely tackling drug issues should mean establishing as safe an environement as possible for users and trying to work towards a more content society. One in which people are happier and more settled in their lives, reducing their need for escapism and drug use…
Ecstasy-related deaths in England and Wales have reportedly doubled in the past year, according to new figures.
There were at least 40 deaths related to the drug last year – twice the total reported in 2000.
And the 2001 figures were almost four times as many as in 1998.
Cheaper ecstasy prices, stronger forms of the drug and younger users have all contributed to this rise, a spokesman for St George’s Hospital in London said.
The hospital’s Centre for Addiction Studies has compiled the figures based on deaths reported to coroners.
The finding comes the day after it was reported that ecstasy tablets can be bought for as little as £1 in some parts of England.
Changes in ecstasy habits: Click here
Two weeks ago 10-year-old Jade Slack, of Lancaster, died after she accidentally swallowed ecstasy.
The hospital spokesman said: “The rise comes at the same time as ecstasy becomes cheaper and is used more recreationally in the dance culture by people who wouldn’t normally take it.”
He said stronger forms of ecstasy, including paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA), were now being used.
More than 40 people suffered Ecstasy-related deaths in 2001, compared to 20 deaths during 2000, according to the research led by consultant psychiatrist Dr Fabrizio Schifano.
There were 17 deaths in 1999 and 11 in 1998.
Cara MacDowall, a spokeswoman for the charity Drugscope, said: “The rise in ecstasy deaths is not easily explained by increasing prevalence or contaminated pills.
“They could be due to a new generation of clubbers being unaware of how to minimise the risks associated with taking ecstasy.
“Much recent coverage of ecstasy has obscured the real information young people need in order to minimise the risks and decrease the death toll.”
The research, based on deaths reported by coroners in England and Wales every six months, is due to be published soon.
Government statistics for ecstasy-related deaths last year to support this research were not available.
On Sunday the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit (IDMU) warned that the average street price of the drug has fallen to a record low of £3.
And it said the £1-a-pill price was most common in the north west of England.
In May the government ruled out the downgrading of ecstasy, claiming it would lead to a “significant increase in the number of users, especially among the very young”.