Pubdate: Wed, 13 Sep 2006
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2006 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Wendel Abel
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


Love drug, beans, rolls, whatever you may want to call  it, Jamaica is
caught up in ecstasy.

Ecstasy is a man-made drug which acts as a stimulant.  Common street
names include XTC, beans, rolls, love  drug and Adam. It is a popular
recreational drug and  its use has grown over the past 10 years.

Ecstasy is certainly available here in Jamaica. Use of  the drug is
reported by dancers, sex workers and  persons who 'hang out' at night
clubs or by those who  like to be up and around at nights. The police
have  also reported an increase in the seizure of this drug.

What is a stimulant? A stimulant is a drug that gives  an individual
'a high' and a feeling of increased  energy. It gives the user a
feeling of well-being and  he or she may feel that everything is right
with the  world.

You may ask, why is ecstasy used in night clubs? The  answer is that
it allows persons to stay awake for  longer periods and they are able
to dance for longer  periods and to perform as needs be throughout the
  night. It also gives a feeling of comfort and  connection with other
people in the nightclub.

Four-hour high

It takes about half an hour for the drug to start  acting after it is
taken and its effects last for about  four hours.

How does it affect the brain? It acts on a number of  chemicals in the
brain. One of the main chemicals  affected is serotonin. Serotonin
regulates sleep, sex,  mood and aggression.

What about the price, It is a relatively expensive  drug? The price
varies between $500 and $1,000 per  pill.

Health risks

Ecstasy is associated with a number of health problems.

Physical problems include muscle tension, nausea,  impaired vision,
clenching of the teeth and excessive  sweating. It may also increase
the heart rate and blood  pressure in some individuals. Ecstasy
affects the areas  of the brain responsible for thinking and memory.

Down and out: After using this drug one may get 'a  crash' which is
associated with the feeling that one is  slowing down.

Loss of the magic: Many persons report that they lose  the effect of
this drug after 10 uses and as a result  there is a tendency to take
more of the drug, more  frequently, in order to achieve 'a high'.

Get 'high' on life: Remember drug use can be harmful.

Pursue a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise well  and get adequate

Dr. Wendel Abel is a consultant psychiatrist and senior  lecturer,
University of the West Indies.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek