Pubdate: Tue, 10 Oct 2000
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. Scripps
Contact:  PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397


A new drug danger is creeping into north state communities through the 
promotion of innocent-sounding parties that appeal to youths.

These all-night "raves" that feature disc jockeys playing electronic and 
dance music have been around for years in cities around the country, but 
organizers are taking the loosely organized revelries on the road. Several 
raves have taken place in Redding, one attended by about 300 teen-agers, 
and another recently was reported in Weed.

The peril lies in the "designer drugs" passed around and sold at these 
parties. Redding police officers Linda Gisske and Jeff Gleason are leading 
a campaign to make the community aware of the arrival of the hallucinogenic 
stimulant Ecstasy and another named GHB that's notorious for use in date 
rape. The rave parties are a front for distributing these drugs, police say.

Teens may tell their parents that a rave is a place to dance and have fun. 
Many of the parties don't allow alcohol. That's where the innocence ends. 
What parents don't hear about are the drug overdoses and potential for 
brain damage.

A number of young people who have used Ecstasy have been to the Shasta 
County Alcohol and Drug Program for help, Director David Reiten says. Some 
90 percent of a group of teens under the age of 18 in one treatment program 
report having ingested it, Reiten reported.

Although the prevalence of the designer drugs appears on the upswing, north 
state authorities don't think they've reached epidemic proportions in our 
schools. That's an encouraging sign. Gisske and Gleason hope their 
community alert will make it harder for promoters to stage their parties.

We have enough of a problem with methamphetamine. We don't need these other 
substances threatening the health and safety of our young people. The more 
we know about these drugs, the better prepared we should be to keep them 
out of our communities.

The message to our young people: you need to really avoid these drugs. They 
can fry your brain and kill you; you are not immortal.
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