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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Fewer high schoolers use Ecstasy, study finds
    #4085811 - 04/22/05 07:10 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY

Ecstasy was the "it" drug among certain teens and young adults for a few years beginning in the late 1990s: a feel-good, dance-all-night stimulant that was a driving force behind rave parties that featured pulsating, melody-free music.

But after peaking in popularity in 2001, Ecstasy isn't so cool anymore.

Tighter airport security since the 9/11 attacks has pinched the flow of the drug into the USA from chief suppliers in the Netherlands and Belgium, making it less available and more expensive.

Meanwhile, federally funded anti-drug campaigns have produced poignant TV spots warning that Ecstasy users risk brain damage or death.

Teens and young adults have taken note. Last year, 57.7% of high school seniors said they believed that taking Ecstasy just once or twice could harm them, up from 33.8% in 1997, according to an annual survey of teen drug use by the University of Michigan.

Mike, a 24-year-old musician from Long Island, N.Y., who didn't want his last name published because he is in drug treatment at Phoenix House in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., says he used to go to raves where Ecstasy was popular. But he says he stopped two years ago, after seeing "younger and younger" ravers get so high that "they would get incapacitated and lie there like dust." (Related graphic: Illegal drugs)

Ecstasy is "just not new anymore," says Mark Brandl, executive director of DanceSafe.Org, a New York-based group that works to prevent drug abuse among recreational users at nightclubs and raves. "It's lost its ... freshness, its panache."

The bad news, says Lloyd Johnston, chief investigator for the Michigan study, is that some teens appear to have moved on to drugs that are less expensive, more available and potentially just as dangerous.

The use of highly addictive prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin has jumped since 2000, and both drugs have become more popular than Ecstasy among high school seniors, the Michigan study reported last year.

More than 9% of high school seniors said they had used Vicodin during the previous year, the study said, a level of popularity that roughly matched that of Ecstasy when it was at its peak four years ago. About 5% of seniors said they had used OxyContin in the previous year, compared with 4% who said they had taken Ecstasy.


Buying off the Internet

When drug researchers at Michigan first started tracking OxyContin and Vicodin abuse among teens in 2002, many users tended to steal small doses from their parents' medicine cabinets. "Trail mixing" parties - where teens would mix pills in bowls and then hand them out randomly - gained popularity, according to the Community Epidemiology Working Group, researchers who report drug-use trends to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Teens also have gotten prescription narcotics from Internet pharmacies that sell such drugs illegally. This week, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other agencies broke up an alleged drug ring that is accused of illegally selling more than 2.5 million pills a month via the Internet.

Some Internet pharmacies allow any teen with a credit card to order narcotics without a prescription. Even after a big markup by sellers, the drugs often are cheaper than Ecstasy. The price for Ecstasy varies; in some cities it can cost as much as $30 a pill, the DEA says.

Teens also perceive prescription drugs as safer than street drugs such as heroin and cocaine, Johnston says, adding that many teens don't appear to recognize the risks of abusing prescription drugs, or to understand that OxyContin is in the same drug family as heroin.

"The increases (in prescription drug abuse) aren't dramatic, but I find the absolute levels - one in every 20 (seniors having tried OxyContin) - disturbing," Johnston says. "If I told you that 5% were using heroin, I think you'd go screaming into the night."

(Nearly 1% of high school seniors said last year that they had used heroin in the previous year, the Michigan study said.)


Opening door for inhalants

Ecstasy's demise also appears to have cleared the way for a rise in teens' use of inhalants. They were a problem a decade ago, before public health campaigns that warned of the damage they could cause to a person's brain and nervous system helped to dramatically lower usage among teens.

Now, a new generation of teens unfamiliar with those dangers is experimenting with inhalants, Johnston says.

Overall, the percentage of seniors who said they had used any illegal drug in the previous year dropped from 41.4% in 2001 to 38.8% in 2004, the Michigan study said.

Marijuana remains the most widely used illicit drug; last year 34.3% of high school seniors said they had used it in the previous year.

Ecstasy is difficult to make here because the U.S. government monitors the necessary chemicals and it licenses pill-pressing machines. Canada and the Netherlands do not license pill-pressers, and such chemicals are more available in the Netherlands.

Before 9/11, Ecstasy smugglers from Europe faced little scrutiny at U.S. airports. They could move thousands of pills at once in suitcases or strapping packets to their bodies.

"It was coming right from Europe into (John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York) in every way possible," says Dean Boyd, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In fiscal 2002, customs and border agents seized a record 4,633 pounds of Ecstasy pills, up about 12.4% from the previous year. That changed in 2003, when Ecstasy smugglers began to avoid airports. The amount seized that year dropped by more than 77%.

At the same time, Ecstasy's presence in the USA declined, suggesting that some drug rings scaled back their operations or simply gave up trying to send Ecstasy here.

Meanwhile, investigators' pursuits of Ecstasy distributors are beginning to pay off. U.S. and Canadian agents last year busted a smuggling ring that allegedly accounted for about 15% of the Ecstasy in the USA.

A DEA analysis later found that the average price of an Ecstasy pill jumped in several cities. In New Orleans, undercover DEA agents paid an average of $17.50 a pill, up from $10.50.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=st...stasystudyfinds


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Re: Fewer high schoolers use Ecstasy, study finds [Re: dblaney]
    #4085849 - 04/22/05 07:24 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Tighter airport security since the 9/11 attacks has pinched the flow of the drug into the USA from chief suppliers in the Netherlands and Belgium, making it less available and more expensive.




For those who know, is/was this actually the case? Were the chief suppliers mainly from those two countries? Or is an attempt at continuing making those countries look bad?

Quote:

When drug researchers at Michigan first started tracking OxyContin and Vicodin abuse among teens in 2002, many users tended to steal small doses from their parents' medicine cabinets. "Trail mixing" parties - where teens would mix pills in bowls and then hand them out randomly - gained popularity, according to the Community Epidemiology Working Group, researchers who report drug-use trends to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.




"So instead of helping teach these children that it is dangerous, as we have with Ecstasy (or so we claim), we'll just eliminate the source and make them risk getting impure, dirty pills off the street."

...Great plan

Quote:

Now, a new generation of teens unfamiliar with those dangers is experimenting with inhalants, Johnston says.




The reporter fails to make any mention of what, if anything, the government is doing to try to change this.

Quote:

Canada and the Netherlands do not license pill-pressers, and such chemicals are more available in the Netherlands.




There's the evil Netherlands again


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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InvisiblethePatient
Criminal Bodhisattva
Male User Gallery

Registered: 07/07/02
Posts: 3,289
Loc: Indiana Flag
Re: Fewer high schoolers use Ecstasy, study finds [Re: dblaney]
    #4090915 - 04/24/05 08:43 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

But after peaking in popularity in 2001




i remember the peak. it was a good time to be alive, full of fun and wide-eyed amusement that continued into the early morning.

Most have forsaken MDMA and its magickal appeal.  :frown:
not me though.  :wink:


--------------------
T h e r e  a r e  n o  o r d i n a r y  m o m e n t s.


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Offlinebiglo
Shroomery BabySitter
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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 603
Loc: US of A
Last seen: 1 year, 7 months
Re: Fewer high schoolers use Ecstasy, study finds [Re: thePatient]
    #4097094 - 04/25/05 10:43 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I wouldn't forsake it if it was available here. :frown: But alas, the government made a "rave" type of an event basically illegal, and killed off the distribution sources.  Death of raves = death of MDMA.  Since dealers were unable to sell mass quantities at a time, they changed to more addictive substances or substances that are always in demand.  :thumbdown:


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