Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 2009
Source: Airdrie City View (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 Airdrie City View Ltd.
Author: Stacie Snow
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Youth)


RCMP launch ecstasy awareness initiative

The RCMP's Drug and Organized Crime Awareness Service (DOCAS) recently
launched Project E-Aware, which is designed to increase awareness of
the harmful effects of ecstasy.

E-Aware is a new website designed to provide factual information to
help parents inform themselves of the dangers of the popular street

"Despite what many believe, ecstasy is far from being a safe or
recreational drug. This illicit drug is made with a number of toxic
chemicals and can be lethal," said Insp. Dan Quirion, the officer in
charge of the DOCAS program.

"There is no quality control, no dosage control and there is no safe
amount to take."

On May 1, a 17-year-old Airdrie girl overdosed on 'E' after ingesting
four tablets of the drug prior to attending a dance at George
McDougall High School. The girl received immediate medical attention
and the situation was not life threatening.

Other incidents of 'E' use and overdose have occurred near Edmonton
where three young women recently died as a result of ingesting
ecstasy. Two girls passed away after taking the drug on Paul Band
First Nation, located 60 km west of Edmonton, and a third took the
drug at West Edmonton Mall.

On Oct. 13, a 19-year-old man died after overdosing on the drug at a
rave at West Ed.

Airdrie Cst. Francine Hennelly said one of the most disturbing aspects
of the drug's popularity is that the individuals who manufacture the
products target children.

"They have everything from the McDonald's logo to Nike and Lululemon
(imprinted on the pills)," she said.

In an attempt to teach children about the dangers of 'E' and other
drugs, Airdrie schools will soon be hosting the DARE (Drug Abuse
Resistance Education) program. Community Resource Officer Cst. Robert
Frizzell will be teaching this pro-active initiative to many of the
Grade 5 and 6 students in the area.

Ecstasy, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is a bright and
colourful synthetic chemical drug normally ingested orally in pill
form. Common effects of ecstasy include a perceived increase in
stimulation, euphoria and pleasant emotions.

MDMA can be dangerous to overall health and even lethal. It can have
many of the same side effects as other stimulants such as cocaine and
amphetamines. These include increased heart rate and blood pressure
and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth
clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness and chills or sweating.

Ecstasy is produced in Canada by organized crime groups, and with a
street value as low as $5 per tablet, it is easily affordable to
youth. Hennelly encourages parents to "do their homework" and be
knowledgeable about drug use.

"Know what to look for if you kids are using and be the parent with
the open door policy so your kids can feel comfortable coming to you
if they are faced with those tough decisions," she said.

The DOCAS Project E-Aware is available at

If you are a local teenager who needs help, there are many resources
available in Airdrie such as Community Links, Airdrie & District
Victims Assistance Society, AADAC, and the Children's Help Line. 
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