for 30 years too much research has been biased towards “stay away from these drugs, you will have heart attack/stroke and drop dead” which in reality is only a risk in cases of accidental gross overdose (or deliberate such as suicide attempt) and even then is uncommon in comparison to the number of users – whilst the more complex issues with chronic mental health risks hadn’t been noted as much.
one factor is technology; although the risks were mentioned 25 years ago ts only been in the last few years that easy to use PC based systems are available to frontline staff, from which useful statistics can be extracted. Although the research covers a variety of stims (and until the NPS ban this year there were loads readily available) from my own personal experience and that of others from 1988 to about 2010 I agree with what the Professor is warning users about; too much MDMA makes it very hard to think straight.
Unfortunately the most popular time for taking the stuff is from age 16-25 its when young people already have a lot of pressures on them so could easily cause mental health risks; of a kind (such as mood swings) that in extreme can affect others and lead to behaviour that results in arrest / being sectioned!
The good news is much of the problems are in fact reversible after reducing usage or stopping the use of theses drugs; the appeal of MDMA diminishes anyway as folk reach age 30-40 as the recovery time outweighs the fun aspects especially when family and career responsiblities are greater.
Other stims don’t hammer the brain as hard (and in moderate doses can even be beneficial!) but they still have the exhaustion and (lesser) mood swings.
Experts say stronger MDMA and ecstasy is causing ‘more mental issues’ – BBC Newsbeat
This is the Professors website with details of his research (which also proves he is working independently to benefit the NHS and global healthcare, and not simply for feds/politicians etc)
I think at this point in time young folks aren’t worried about the consequences because there is so much information out there that most sources will tell you that MDMA is low risk but low risk =/= no risk so if anyone abuses it then they cultivate the consequences big or small.
As far as it goes drugs have less stigma than they once did so kids will try anything now and if it hits psychologically fertile ground then they abuse it.
What worries me is that the age group where it is used the most is at a point where the brain is still malleable compared to say age 35 and over so the risk-benefit analysis of choices aren’t as obvious as they are to older people. Kids probably feel invincible to an extent and while I’m sure a lot of 18-21 year olds will deduce that if you have 250mg pills you could split one between two people but there will always be that person that thinks a heroic dose is the way to go and oftentimes they become EMS’s problem, their friend’s responsibility to look out for, or they get into dealing to support the habit … etc etc.
In that article the thing that stood out the most was the researcher saying that for many people the reward outweighs the risk. THAT is so good to hear from an unbiased source. I think academia could be the new voice for legalization.
just been reading the Dutch news today and there are several articles about Dutch users switching from MDMA to 4-FA which has got the street name “xtc-lite” ; because the currently available MDMA pills are now way too strong!
However 4-FA is not without risks in itself and has been implicated in adverse incidents at this years large music events… (govt is discussing making it a controlled substance in October)
Also another article from Trimbos complaining that the online info about MDMA pills is often inaccurate and understates risks; though it also points out that Dutch law forbids the exact results of tests being discussed online (which is of course adds to the confusion!)
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