Pubdate: Sun,  7 Dec 2003
Source: Reuters (Wire)
Copyright: 2003 Reuters Limited
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


ROME (Reuters) - Cocaine and ecstasy not only cause addiction and raise the
risk of cancer but also provoke genetic mutations, Italian scientists said

"Cocaine and ecstasy have proved to be more dangerous than we had imagined,"
said Giorgio Bronzetti, chief scientist at the National Center for
Research's (CNR) biotechnology department.

"These drugs, on top of their toxicological effects, attack DNA provoking
mutations and altering the hereditary material. This is very worrying for
the effects it could have on future generations," he said.

The use of ecstasy, a drug popular at all-night dance parties, increased by
70 percent between 1995 and 2000 according to a United Nations (news - web
sites) report published in September.

Ecstasy and amphetamines have overtaken cocaine and heroin as the fastest
growing global narcotics menace, the study said.

The CNR report, which took more than three years to complete, said animal
tests had shown a direct relationship between ecstasy and cocaine intake and
the effects on DNA.

"In other words, the longer the time frame of drug consumption, the greater
the damage to DNA," Bronzetti said.
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