Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 2009
Source: Rocky View Weekly (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 Tall Taylor Publishing Ltd
Author: Stacie Snow


Police Launch Ecstasy Awareness Initiative For Parents

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 drug.

"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
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