cannabisnews.com: Expert Sets Record Straight on Ecstasy at Berkeley





Expert Sets Record Straight on Ecstasy at Berkeley
Posted by FoM on May 03, 2000 at 20:20:31 PT
By Will Evans, Daily Californian 
Source: U-WIRE
UC Berkeley students attempted to combat ignorance about the increasingly popular drug ecstasy during a symposium held on campus Saturday. Ecstasy -- also known as MDMA -- increases seratonin levels in the brain, causing an elevated mood and feelings of empathy. For several hours after ingestion, the drug induces the to user open up to individuals they meet. 
After the dramatic rise in seratonin -- a chemical that controls mood, sleep, appetite and sex drive -- seratonin levels drop sharply, leaving the user with less of the chemical than normal. "This is partially responsible for the post-ecstasy blues," said Emanuel Sferios, national director of DanceSafe, a "harm reduction" organization that tests ecstasy pills to see if they are laced with other drugs. "It takes 24 hours for the seratonin levels to be replenished." Sferios said depression will not continue unless the user has "pre-existing depression" or frequently consumes the drug. "I think many (ecstasy users) are unconsciously self-medicating for depression," Sferios said. "There's a stigma in our society about having depression and taking anti-depressants, but there's no stigma around taking ecstasy." Seratonin-increasing drugs also alter the way the body regulates itself, Sferios said. "They will inhibit your body's ability to maintain a proper temperature," he said. "The euphoria can make you unaware of warning signs." Sferios said medical emergencies like seizures that sometimes occur at raves are the result of dancing too much and not drinking enough water. He said some clubs capitalize on the dehydration and sell bottled water. "That should be illegal," Sferios said. "(Problems) are easily preventable. We are trying to get a law requiring dance venues to provide free water." In the United Kingdom, ecstasy use among young people is as high as 17 percent, making it the most popular drug after marijuana, he said. Sferios praised the country for regulating its clubs to prevent overcrowding. But in the United States, the intolerant stance of law enforcement officials toward raves leaves many club owners reluctant to call paramedics for fear of being shut down, he said. According to Sferios, ecstasy was used for psychotherapy before it became illegal, and in that environment it produced neither seizures nor deaths. He said many of the problems associated with ecstasy are really complications with other drugs that manufacturers add to ecstasy pills to increase profits. He said his organization has found many pills contaminated with DXM, a drug found in cough syrup. "It's possible that many of the individuals who have died (supposedly from ecstasy) have died from DXM use," he said. Kevin Sabet, an ASUC senator and consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said Sferios' talk was composed of "half-truths." Sabet said the most accurate part of the event was when a community member attributed his son's death to ecstasy and misinformation about the drug. Ecstasy is worse than heroin or cocaine because it damages neurons that provide seratonin, he said. "Playing around with science is dangerous when you're talking about such neurotoxic drugs as ecstasy," he said. "Ecstasy does cause long-lasting, significant, permanent changes in the brain." The event was organized as part of a public health class and was sponsored by the Tang Center. NewsHawk: DankHankhttp://www.freeyellow.com/members/hbaca/index.html(U-WIRE) Berkley, Calif. Web Posted: May 2, 2000 (C) 2000 Daily Californian via U-WIRE Copyright  2000 At Home Corporation. Related Articles:Bingeing on Ecstasy http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5583.shtml60 Minutes Of Ecstasy (Not)http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5550.shtmlReaction to 60 Minutes II Hit Piece on Ecstasy - DrugSensehttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5539.shtmlEcstasy Spreads - CBS Newshttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5511.shtml 
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Comment #5 posted by Anthony on January 23, 2001 at 12:09:44 PT:
Ecstacy
I am an English clubber and have been alarmed by the recent upsurge in Ecstacy usage amongst people my age. Virtually every nightclub is filled with 95% of people on E and a recent survey in Mix-Mag says that 1,000,000 pills are taken in clubs every weekend. With links to mental health problems such as Parkinsons Disease, lowering Seratonin levels of the brain, and effects on thiamine levels, taking ecstacy is NOT good for you and I have met people with serious problems. However what is more alarming is that the British Press have not picked up on this issue which I regard as the biggest problem facing the British youth today. In the early 90's ecstacy was seen rarely in mainstream clubs and where it was available (underground rave clubs) people would take maybe one and a half tablets in an entire evening. With the acceptance of Dancefloor tunes into our culture the whole Club scene emerged and Mix-Mag reported recently in a survey that of the people questioned 19.3% have 'necked' 10.5 to 30 E's in a session, 39.8% between 5 and 10. They have been doing this on average for more than 5 years. If you conduct anymore research perhaps would consider that these may prove a more valuable source of research. Pills are now embodied into the British culture with the mass-market acceptance of superclubs such as Cream, Gatecrasher, Ministry of Sound where you will not find one person who isn't on drugs. Please feel free to E-Mail me with any questions you may have ?
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Comment #4 posted by Annie on October 21, 2000 at 13:41:37 PT
Ecstasy
Does anybody plan to answer my above question? It would be very helpful if this happened by tomorrow. My email is justASK edmail.com. Thank you so much. See you guys later! ASK
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Comment #3 posted by ASK on October 16, 2000 at 08:28:34 PT:
ecstasy
I am studying this drug for my Guided Discovery class and would very much appreciate it if someone could email me some information at the above address. thank you in advance. ASK 
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on May 04, 2000 at 05:04:06 PT:
When the ignorant speak...
I think many (ecstasy users) are unconsciously self-medicating for depression," Sferios said. "There's a stigma in our society about having depression and takinganti-depressants, but there's no stigma around taking ecstasy." Huh? Say that again? No stigma? Tell that to your typically, *wilfully* ignorant LEO and see what he makes of it. He's liable to lecture you on the dangers of using such a 'narcotic' and will threaten to arrest you for using it. (Yeah, I've had FBI agents tell me that with a straight face. It's an *amphetamine*, guys, not an opiate and therefore *not* a narcotic; it does not induce sleep. If they don't even know *what it is*, how can they profess to be experts?)But this is even sillier:Kevin Sabet, an ASUC senator and consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said Sferios' talk was composed of "half-truths." Sabet said the most accurate part of the event was when a community member attributed his son's death to ecstasy and misinformation about the drug. Ecstasy is worse than heroin or cocaine because it damages neurons that provide seratonin, he said. "Playing around with science is dangerous when you're talking about such neurotoxic drugs as ecstasy," he said. "Ecstasy does cause long-lasting, significant, permanent changes in the brain." Playing around with science, huh? Like NIDA's 'playing around with science' by continuing to support "Doctor" Gabriel Naha's long discredited studies about the 'toxicity' and 'neuronal damage' of MJ use? Like it's using those same studies as the basis for justifying its' refusal to grant legitimate research by Dr. Donald Abrams for *real* studies.My late mother used to say that when ignorance speaks, you can't tell the difference from dogs barking. 
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on May 04, 2000 at 00:34:51 PT
Where did you hear about it?
This article is a fairly good example for those who have not yet heard the old theory(?),that follows; I am of the opinion,that articles such as this,do far more damage than good. I wonder how many people have learned of"ecstacy"(MDMA?),through articles that tell about the suposed effects,and devious uses of the stuff? The "date rape"drug,(GHB),is something many people would be unaware of,had it not been for some idiotic,yet perhaps well meaning,story in the national media. Drugs are a part of life in todays world.There are basically only two types of drugs;"Illegal, and Legal."From this point,you can easily extrapolate what I'm saying............dddd 
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