Pubdate: Fri, 23 Nov 2007
Source: Red River Valley Echo, The (CN MB)
Copyright: 2007 Altona Red River Valley Echo
Author: Greg Vandermeulen
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine - Canada)


Is you son or daughter doing ecstacy? Has your best friend decided to
try it "just once." Have you? Ecstasy use is on the rise in Altona,
and local police say a recent possession charge is only the beginning.

Altona Police picked up an individual under the intoxicated person
detention act, and through the course of the arrest learned the
suspect was high on ecstacy.

The suspect was treated at the Altona Hospital and faces possession

Sgt. Perry Batchelor said it was then they received indications that
there was "a whole lot more" out there.

This drug is a new one on the Altona Police.

"It's definitely not common we have involvement with this stuff,"
Batchelor said. "I think it's out there, but this stuff cycles."

Batchelor said it will hit a new group or crowd and the drug becomes

Currently the Altona Police have one of the seized pills in the lab
and are waiting for the results.

But ecstacy can contain almost anything.

"Ecstacy has a lot of the same characteristics as methamphetamine, as
crystal meth," he said. "It can sometimes be laced with ephedrine,
sometimes methamphetamine. You don't know what you're ingesting."

That means the side affects could be far more serious.

In the case of methamphetamine, 43 per cent of users are addicted
after one use.

Worse yet, people develop a tolerance to the drug, and need to take
more to achieve the same high the next time. That means more of the
poison is entering their body.

Batchelor encourages parents to get involved and be open to discuss
anything with their children.

"The biggest thing is to communicate with kids," he said. Parents
should be encouraged to read up on this stuff."

Although it became a household name only in the last 15 or so years,
ecstacy has been around for a long time.

It was invented in 1912 by a German chemist as a mimic for adrenaline.
In the late 1960's it appeared sporadically as the "love drug." In the
early '80's it arrived in gay night clubs, rising to prominence in the
latter part of the decade. The street name "ecstacy" was coined in
California in 1984. In the '90's it became popular in the rave
subculture and then in universities and high schools. It rapidly
became one of the four most widely used drugs along with cocaine,
heroin and cannabis.

Now it's second only to marijuana in attracting new

So what is the attraction?

Users feel increased energy, feelings of wellbeing, euphoria,
openness, empathy, love, happiness, heightened self awareness, mental
clarity, appreciation of music and decreased hostility.

But there are many dangerous side affects. Dehydration occurs and
people must consume liquid. However, just replacing liquids with water
may not be enough. The bodies salt levels will fall and people could
suffer from hypothermia, hypertension and in some cases, water
intoxication which is often fatal.

Signs of Ecstasy Use

Some signs include those that apply to any drug. New friends, large
expenditures of cash, or any sudden changes in personality can be a

Visible side effects of ecstacy use include dilated pupils,
involuntary eye movement, sweaty palms, heavy sweating, increased
heart rate, increased body temperature, heightened touch sensations,
chattiness, restlessness, chattering teeth and muscle spasms.

Dancing With Death

People trying the drug for the first time are also in dangerous
territory. Some people simply lack the proper enzymes to break down
the drug. Ingesting the drug will prove fatal in those cases.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake