Ecstasy Use Drops in U.S.

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Past-year use of the club drug among people over 12 declined by more than one million

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued its latest Research Report this year focusing on ecstasy abuse, citing that past-year use decreased from 3.2 million people over the age of 12 to 2.1 million from 2002 to 2003. The same report said past-month users dropped by more than 200,000.

This is good news, but ecstasy (MDMA) abuse has spread to a wide range of other settings and demographic subgroups than just raves in the past few years. Despite growing evidence of its harmful effects, ecstasy still has a deceptive reputation as a “safe” drug among its abusers. The idea of just taking a pill with a design stamped on it makes it more attractive and appear less harmful. Additionally, popping a pill is more socially acceptable than snorting, smoking or injecting a drug.

While overall ecstasy use among teenagers has declined over the last couple of years, a survey of adolescents and young adults who reported ecstasy abuse found that more than a third of them were addicted and in need of treatment.

Due to the stimulant properties and the increased physical activity often associated with taking the drug, the result can be a dangerous increase in body temperature that produces dehydration and increased heart rate, while potentially leading to stress on the heart and cardiovascular failure. Additional potential adverse effects include nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping and blurred vision.

There are other short term effects of the drug such as impaired memory, difficulty processing information and trouble performing skilled activities such as motor vehicle operation. According to NIDA, ecstasy users report feeling anxiety, restlessness, irritability, sadness and depression in the week following moderate exposure to the drug.

Regular MDMA abusers demonstrate elevated levels of anxiety, impulsiveness, aggression, sleep disturbances, lack of appetite, and reduced interest in and pleasure from sex. The cycle of addiction continues by taking more of the same drug to escape the condition brought on by that drug, all the while causing more damage mentally and physically.

One former ecstasy user summed up the drug's effects oh him saying, "I felt so much emotional pain and was so depressed that I wanted to end my life and take all of the world's pain with me." The young man has since become drug-free, but not without help.

American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard conducted extensive research in the field of drug detoxification and rehabilitation, which is the bases for one of the nation’s largest and most successful drug rehabilitation and education programs, Narconon Arrowhead.

Thousands of individuals suffering from addiction to alcohol and drugs, including ecstasy, have been able to overcome the barriers to full recovery and now lead healthy, productive and drug-free lives all over the world thanks to Narconon Arrowhead.

For more information on ecstasy or how to help a loved one that is addicted to drugs or alcohol, contact Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 or visit or


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Luke Catton