Pubdate: Thu, 25 Apr 2002
Source: Post-Standard, The (NY)
Address: P.O. Box 4915, Syracuse, N.Y. 13221-4915
Copyright: 2002, Syracuse Post-Standard
Author: Nicolas Eyle
Note: Nicolas Eyle is the executive director of ReconsiDer.


To the Editor;

The headline read: "POLICE AGONIZE OVER ECSTASY" (Friday, April 5, 2002) 
All of us should be agonizing over the stuff. Use is climbing rapidly, 
It  rose 20 percent last year and 71 percent from 1999. And, it's 
potentially dangerous, though not entirely due to reasons mentioned in the 

You see, with Ecstasy being illegal there are no controls on what's in the 
pills (remember "bathtub gin" that made people blind during alcohol 
prohibition?). What's sold as Ecstasy could be anything. For those who do 
not heed our advice to stay away from the drug, there is little information 
available to prevent unnecessary harm. Many of the Ecstasy-related deaths 
are from dehydration. Apparently it's a side effect and if a user doesn't 
drink a lot the result can be death.

In England, a country with some of the toughest anti-drug laws in Europe, 
the government has just released a booklet that gives advice to club owners 
to keep their patrons safer. The Safer Clubbing booklet marks a shift in 
government policy by putting a heavy emphasis on "managing"  the use of drugs.

Drugs Minister Bob Ainsworth said: "Our message remains the same - all 
drugs are harmful. But we have to get the message across to people that 
they are taking risks with their health and encourage them to reduce their 
drug-taking as a first step to stopping altogether."

The guidelines concentrate on well-known medical advice to prevent serious 
side-effects from ecstasy use, such as making sure water is available and 
dance clubs do not overheat.

In addition, Home Secretary David Blunkett wants the drug reclassified from 
Class B to C, meaning possession of small amounts would no longer be an 
arrestable offence.

The British have seen that their tough drug enforcement hasn't worked, 
Ecstasy use is up anyway, and they see their children dying. They are 
trying something different to try to reduce the harm. To gain back some 

We, on the other hand, also see that tough drug enforcement doesn't work, 
Ecstasy use is up anyway, and we see our children dying. We, however, do 
the same thing we've been doing over again hoping for a different result.

We'd all love it if our kids did as we asked but some don't. Does this mean 
they should die?
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens