Pubdate: Wed, 13 Sep 2006
Source: Brock Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 Brock Citizen
Author: Erin Hatfield


One poor decision can have tragic consequences when it comes to drug 
use. Durham residents were once again reminded of that with the 
recent death of a 15-year-old Ajax girl who had consumed ecstasy.

When such an event occurs, calls to the Region's health department 
increase, said Heather Tucker, a public health nurse with Durham's 
injury-prevention program.

Ms. Tucker said five per cent of youth are using or have experimented 
with drugs such as ecstasy. Although five per cent seems low, she 
said, that represents 4,000 kids in Durham.

Ecstasy is made in illicit labs with chemicals that vary from 
location to location. What is sold as ecstasy often contains unknown 
drugs or other fillers such as caffeine, ephedrine and amphetamine.

"The perception is drugs like ecstasy are not harmful drugs," she said.

"They think ecstasy is a party drug but it is not a hard drug."

A major factor in many ecstasy-related deaths is dehydration and 
overheating. Ecstasy increases body temperature, blood pressure and 
heart rate, which can lead to kidney failure, strokes and seizures.

According to an Ontario student drug use survey, the average age for 
first-time use of alcohol or tobacco is 13.

"We are concerned that may be lowering," Ms. Tucker said.

The survey also showed the use of cigarettes and LSD are at an 
all-time low and that the use of alcohol, marijuana, barbiturates, 
hallucinogens, heroin, PCP, methamphetamine and glue were 
significantly lower in 2005 as compared to peak use.

"Most kids are making good decisions when it comes to drug use," Ms. 
Tucker said.

"We need to give that 95 per cent credit for making good choices."
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MAP posted-by: Elaine