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Distortion 1: Drug Use After Prohibition Ends

Distortion 2: Drug Use Estimates

Distortion 3: Needle Exchange

Distortion 4: Harm Reduction

Distortion 5: Methadone Treatment

Distortion 6: Emergency Room Visits

Distortion 7: Gateway

Distortion 8: Ecstasy

Distortion 9: Cannabis As Medicine

Distortion10: Young People and Drugs

Distortion 11: Marijuana Potency

Distortion 12: Cannabis and Driving

Distortion 13: US Crime Rates

Distortion 14: Cannabis and Drug Treatment

Distortion 15: People Only Smoke Pot To Get High, Whereas They Drink Alcohol To Be Sociable

Distortion 16: ONDCP's 'Open Letter on Marijuana' & the AntiDrug Media Campaign

Distortion 17: Cannabis and Drug Treatment Part II

Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness

Special: NORML's Truth Report 2005, An Analysis & Response To The Drug Czar's Open Letter About Marijuana

Special: Debunking The Myths — Chronic Pain & Opiods, by Frank Fisher, MD

Distortion 19: Estimating the Size of the Illicit Drug Market

Distortion 20: Methamphetamines

Distortion 21: US Crime Rates & Arrest Rates

Distortion 22: Marijuana & Violence


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Distortion 8: Ecstasy

Distortion 8: Ecstasy is a widespread danger that is killing American youth.

It is possible that Ecstasy use has resulted in the deaths of some young people but it is an exaggeration that this is widespread. The Drug Abuse Warning Network estimates that ecstasy was involved in -- though not necessarily the cause of -- nine deaths in 1998.

["Club Drugs," The DAWN Report, Drug Abuse Warning Network, Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (Washington, DC: SAMHSA, December 2000), p. 4.]

One of the recent risks associated with Ecstasy is the possibility of obtaining adulterated drugs that may be more toxic than MDMA. Some of the reported deaths attributed to Ecstasy are likely caused by other, more dangerous drugs.

[Laboratory Pill Analysis Program, DanceSafe. For results visit www.DanceSafe.org. See also, Byard RW et al., "Amphetamine derivative fatalities in South Australia-is ‘Ecstasy’ the culprit?," American Journal of Forensic Medical Pathology, 1998 (Sep) 19(3): 261-5.]

A number of drug abuse experts are growing concerned that federal exaggerations regarding ecstasy may backfire. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Dec. 30, 2002 ( "Critics Take Issue With Antidrug Campaign") that "There is increasing debate in scientific circles about the validity of the research behind government claims about the dangers of ecstasy. By overdramatizing its hazards, the critics say, antidrug campaigners may be achieving the opposite of what they seek. Like the crusaders against alcohol and marijuana before them, the anti-ecstasy forces may be persuading a generation of already skeptical youths that adults are more interested in scaring kids than informing them. The government's campaign is based on research that is 'seriously, seriously flawed,' says Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a leading ecstasy researcher. ( Ecstasy is the street name for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA. ) A more honest approach, the critics argue, would be to cite the known hazards without sensationalizing the unproven. The drug, they say, can cause kidney damage, dehydration, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and increases in body temperature that can, on rare occasions, be fatal. And, though ecstasy is not physically addicting, it can create psychological dependence. Scientists also agree that research shows ecstasy as damaging to serotonin neurons in rat brains. But an honest campaign, critics note, would stop short of saying that ecstasy causes long-term brain damage in humans."

Check out the Ecstasy section of Drug War Facts For more information.

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Updated: Wednesday, July 15, 2009   ~   Accessed: 41644 times