By RNW.nl – June 2001
Simon sees drug taking as a question of choice. It’s quite simple – “a person is entitled to abuse his body in any way he sees fit”. He’s 30, works in the film industry, and for the last 9 years, ‘a little something for the weekend’ has meant taking a couple of ecstasy tablets whenever he goes out clubbing.
He took his first E at a rave in England. He had no idea what it was his friend was giving him. Before that, he’d smoked marijuana, taken speed and experimented with “a natural form of LSD in Zimbabwe”, but, he says “that night changed my perceptions on life. It was as if someone had turned on a light in my head – everyone was beautiful. Everything just made sense. I wasn’t afraid and got immense pleasure from talking and listening to people. I had time for everyone and everything.” Simon enjoyed his night so much that he took another E the next morning “and partied all weekend”.
Feels Like Death:
He was 21 then. Now, he says it’s “still a fairly regular requirement if you go out – to take a couple of E’s,” but it’s not always been like that first night. He’s had “some freaked out experiences – I’ve woken up in places I don’t recognise, lost days at a time.” He recalls one particularly bad experience. “One night, I took two E’s in one club, was drinking whisky and took a third E in another club. I thought I was dying. I felt like I was leaving my body. It felt like my blood was boiling and I passed out. My friends revived me by throwing water on me, and they looked after me”.
For him, ecstasy is integral to the clubbing lifestyle or going out to party. “It’s not a way of life, but it is a social activity – like drinking”. He says he must have taken well over a hundred E’s in his time. The most he’s ever taken in one go was seven. “I’ve taken the odd E during the day, but usually at a festival or a social gathering, then I might take half to get that cool buzz feeling.”
Does he worry about his health? “I worry about my heart, but generally I have a ‘here goes nothing attitude,'” although he was dubious about buying from a guy in a club in Amsterdam once, “but the guy in the club said I could test it. I thought he was joking, but sure enough there was a table in the corner, I paid NLG20, they did a test or something, dropped a chemical on the pill and it came up the right colour…that E sent me flying”!
But, the initial high has faded for Simon. “The hype has gone, it’s like cannabis now – just an accessory, part of the paraphernalia of clubbing and going out. One E used to last me 14 hours, now I can go to sleep on one. But I can feel empty, disillusioned and depressed if I do a lot of E’s on a weekend. It takes me 3 or 4 days to recover. Now that I’m getting older it takes longer to deal with it, so I do it less.” But he’s not ready to give it all up just yet. “Talking about that first night, it gives me a buzz just thinking about it. I couldn’t imagine taking my last E just yet.”