Effects of MDMA
Ecstasy: Invading the Youth
The War on Drugs is a lost cause. The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives. The result is any adult or child with a couple measly dollars can purchase any existing illegal drug almost anywhere in the country (Greer 6/24/98). The emergence of a new designer drug (a combination of two existing drugs) "ecstasy," which is the most common street term for the illicit drug MDMA (+/-3,4Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), has brought a fatal blow to the War on Drugs. The "love drug," as MDMA is sometimes referred to, has spread from its previously isolated dwellings within the darkness of the "rave" scene (a rave is an all-night illicit dance party), into high schools across the United States and Canada. "Police say the manufacture, smuggling, and availability of ecstasy are booming" (Oh 4/24/00). The tremendous increase of ecstasy use is due to its escalating social acceptability, the perceived safety of the drug, and the influence of peer testimonies. This dramatic proliferation of the use of "X" is something that urgently needs to be addressed.
A succinct application of existing drug enforcement venues would aid in the curtailing of this profound drug. The application should be the integration of education about "E" into elementary and middle schools, reaching children as young as the fifth grade. To provide a general perception of the dramatic increase in the drug's use, here is a statement from one of the top drug enforcement directors in the United States: "The White House's drug policy director, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey…warned that [E] was posing a particularly serious threat to children. He cited a nationally recognized survey showing a sharp rise in the number of high school seniors who said they had used ecstasy in the previous month from 1.5 percent in 1998 to 2.5 percent in the following year. [He followed by saying] 'The use of ecstasy has skyrocketed,'" (Hernandez 8/2/00). To put those numbers in real terms: if last year 3 of every 200 high school seniors ate at least one E pill each, last October, then this year 5 out of 200 high school seniors ate at least on E pill each, this October. Keep in mind that some rural schools have much lower numbers, while schools near big cities (especially on the coasts) have much higher numbers. From a personal vantage point, I would say that about 25 out of my class of 150 at least experimented with the drug, and probably 15 or so were regular users (regular, meaning on a monthly basis).
You may be asking yourself: "Why is an illicit drug spreading at such a rapid rate?' This is a very legitimate question. The answer lies in the opinions of young people. Experts say, "…It is difficult to say exactly how many people are experimenting with the drug (Hernandez 8/2/00)." As a young person, I will tell you that it is not difficult to say. If you think that drug use is uncommon in most high school...