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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ecstasy Use On The Rise

Ecstasy is extremely dangerous with the power to take people's lives with little warning. The number of emergency room visits related to the drug over a four year period is absolutely staggering, rising 74.8 percent between 2004 and 2008, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HealthDay News reported March 24. The statistics come from SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN); the analysis showed that emergency room visits tied to ecstasy soared up from 10,200 in 2004 to 17,865 in 2008. "It remains to be determined how severe the long-term neurotoxic effects may be on the brain," said Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "There is no reason for anyone to believe that the use of this drug is safe at some dose - the risk is consequential at any dose."

"Anxiety, agitation, recklessness, increased blood pressure, dehydration, heat stroke, muscle cramping, blurred vision, hyperthermia, heart failure, and kidney failure," are the most common symptoms associated with ecstasy according to The DAWN Report released March 24. The majority of patients treated for ecstasy in the ER:
  • 69.3 percent, were between the ages of 18 and 29
  • 17.9 percent were between the ages of 12 and 17
With 77.8 percent used ecstasy in combination with:
  • one other drug (31.3 percent)
  • two other drugs (15.0 percent)
  • three other drugs (14.0 percent)
  • four or more other drugs (17.5 percent)
"The resurgence of ecstasy use is cause for alarm that demands immediate attention and action," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. in a press release. "The aggressive prevention efforts being put into place by SAMHSA will help reduce use in states and communities, resulting in less costly emergency department visits related to drug use."

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