Volume 96, Issue 62
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

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Dangers of ecstacy were understated

Re: "The world of illicit drugs," Jan. 16

To the Editor:

I'm a bit concerned with the tone in which the drug ecstasy was described in the Jan. 16 Gazette. The writer – Kasia Iglinski – briefly describes ecstasy, and mentions possible health complications, such as dehydration, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.

However, I think this article really doesn't address the seriousness of this hard chemical drug. Two major issues concerning ecstasy consumption have failed to be mentioned. First off, the chemical MDMA has only widely been used by the public since the late 1980s. The relationship between the chemical and its interaction with human brain chemistry is not yet fully understood. Many studies have suggested that the drug may have long-term implications on one's cognitive abilities.

Any user of ecstasy should fully understand that using the drug – even once – might have serious implications later on in life. The second and more dangerous aspect of ecstasy comes from the inherent nature of its underground drug market. Making MDMA is not easy. It takes a lot of equipment, chemicals and expertise. For this reason, almost all "E" pills do not contain very much MDMA at all, since drug makers cut costs by adding other cheaper chemicals.

When you buy a "purple love" or "red butterfly," you're most likely doing other amphetamines, such as crystal meth or speed. But drug makers obviously don't limit themselves to amphetamines, and will cut pills with anything that makes the user feel "high."

In the past, this practice has had deadly results, due to complications from users unintentionally mixing drugs. The bottom line is that, by doing random pills, you are doing random drugs. The next time your dealer says that "this stuff is pure," he's bullshitting you – because that's what every dealer says.

Finding pure MDMA can be hard to do, and very seldom does it ever come in the form of some fancy coloured pill with a cool name.

Matt Tobey
Computer Science III

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