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Long-term effects of ecstacy
February 12, 2009 10:13 PM   Subscribe

Ecstasy's long-term effects revealed. "Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe." [Via]
posted by homunculus (94 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Drug harm can be equal to harms in other parts of life. There is not much difference between horse-riding and ecstasy."
posted by homunculus at 10:16 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


So does it cause problems, or not? I did read the article, but I'm damned if I can remember what it said.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:19 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whaddayaknow? I wish I'd taken it more often before I'd written off all drugs aside from alcohol...
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 10:23 PM on February 12, 2009


Seems like a pointless study. I find it hard to believe that there are throngs of recreational drug users who were hesitent to use ecstacy because they didn't know what would happen in the long run -- if they were going to use it, they were going to use it regardless of what any study said. And the people who weren't going to use it are just going to find another reason not to.
posted by spiderskull at 10:24 PM on February 12, 2009


One crucial problem with ecstacy is that it's simply too awesome.
posted by rainy at 10:25 PM on February 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


"These effects appear not just in current users but also in ex-users who haven't touched the drug for at least six months, suggesting that the problems are long-lasting."

Really? 6 whole months? Just how long-lasting are we talking about here?
posted by o0o0o at 10:28 PM on February 12, 2009


The problem isn't so much ecstacy as the junk they cut it with that I'm more worried about.
posted by PenDevil at 10:31 PM on February 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


If I was young and lithe and free of care, I can see how getting high on Ecstasy and feeling up strangers while dancing to techno could be a whole lot of fun. If the kids can enjoy it without fucking up their spinal fluid, more power to them.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:34 PM on February 12, 2009


The problem with ecstacy is that it costs three dollars a pill nowadays. And you get what you pay for.
posted by dydecker at 10:37 PM on February 12, 2009


Is it worth asking whether or not Irvine Welsh is a MeFite?
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 10:40 PM on February 12, 2009


The thing that scares me most about ecstasy is getting something else in my pills that is way worse than the drug itself. The trick is finding someone you trust to give you the real product.
posted by azarbayejani at 10:40 PM on February 12, 2009


Invest now in low-riding, baggy Depends, seniors-size pacifiers and swirly glo-stick type shit that dispenses medicine.
posted by chococat at 10:45 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


The thing to remember here is that this is a review of existing studies, not novel research. Also, it has not been subjected to peer-reviewed and does not appear to conform to standard methods of aggregating multiple studies of exposure (in this case, drug use) and outcomes (psych measures) such as meta-analysis.

More importantly, unless a study used standardised pre- and post-Ecstasy use measures compared to a control group, it is not possible to exclude the possibility that the observed effects are confounded by other factors, for example, Ecstasy users were more likely to score more poorly on the tests for other reasons.

I don't doubt that infrequent Ecstasy use is not as harmful as advertised or, say, frequent alcohol use. But this study don't prove that.
posted by docgonzo at 10:53 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find it hard to believe that there are throngs of recreational drug users who were hesitent to use ecstacy because they didn't know what would happen in the long run...

See, this is exactly the kind of study I find very interesting, since I am just such a person. The legality or illegality of drugs like ecstasy doesn't really play a role in my decision to use them (or not) -- health concerns are the only relevant concerns, as far as I'm, uh, concerned. And in particular, I want to be aware of any potential long-term health problems resulting from use.

Of course, having interest in the article's purported result doesn't mean I buy their reasoning/methods. And regardless of how safe the drug is under lab conditions, it's common knowledge that it is frequently cut to the point of being dangerous. So maybe you're right, in the end, that this wouldn't change my behavior...but it might, for instance, have an impact on whether or not I support the drug's legalization in the long run.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:04 PM on February 12, 2009


The problem isn't so much ecstacy as the junk they cut it with that I'm more worried about.

That makes no sense. There are numerous reported deaths attributed to MDMA. I'm aware of no reported deaths attributed to the 'junk that they cut it with'.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:06 PM on February 12, 2009


That makes no sense. There are numerous reported deaths attributed to MDMA. I'm aware of no reported deaths attributed to the 'junk that they cut it with'.

Uh, you know they cut it with things like methamphetamine, right?
posted by delmoi at 11:14 PM on February 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


There are numerous reported deaths attributed to MDMA.

Well... my understanding is that a lot of these deaths are due to dehydration. I know of only one incident where the autopsy revealed that the only potential (known) cause of death was MDMA.
posted by spiderskull at 11:18 PM on February 12, 2009


Uh, you know they cut it with things like methamphetamine, right?

I've never understood the worry about the chemist cutting a drug with another expensive-to-make drug. Why would they even bother?

The real worry is getting sick from badly made MDMA. Or some other random, experimental chemical garbage.
posted by dydecker at 11:20 PM on February 12, 2009


Am I the only person who hated ecstasy? Sure, it felt fantastic. But the whole time I was feeling fantastic I was thinking how fake and forced the fantastic felt. Especially when I was feeling the fantastic cool porcelain of the toilet as I experienced the fantastic sensation of barfing.
posted by serazin at 11:28 PM on February 12, 2009


I believe street drugs are generally cut with harmless dilutents, not rat poison or, as was mentioned above, more expensive drugs.
posted by serazin at 11:32 PM on February 12, 2009


I've never understood the worry about the chemist cutting a drug with another expensive-to-make drug. Why would they even bother?

Well, didn't it used to be pretty cheap and easy to make regular methamphetamine? I think it's gotten more difficult to get large amounts of psudoephedrine with the new record keeping requirements, though.

Is it really easier to make MDMA then regular Meth?
posted by delmoi at 11:47 PM on February 12, 2009


I always reckoned that meth was a byproduct of the (maybe shoddily implemented) process of making MDMA. The MA in MDMA does stand for methamphetamine after all.
posted by juv3nal at 11:50 PM on February 12, 2009


Great news! Ibiza, here I come.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:56 PM on February 12, 2009


serazin: this source has a table of drugs found in ecstacy tablets and their relative ratios. Meth seems to be a fairly comman additive/substitute along with ketamine.
posted by benzenedream at 11:59 PM on February 12, 2009


Well, that's pretty convincing! And a cool resource too.
posted by serazin at 12:02 AM on February 13, 2009


Ah, I know some dipshits who are jumping for joy tonight. On E, doubtless.
posted by scarabic at 12:05 AM on February 13, 2009


I see, that makes sense. Meth is much cheaper than e in the US, therefore pills over there get cut with methamphetamine. I doubt this is very common in Europe though, where the bottom has fallen out of the e market and the opposite is the case.
posted by dydecker at 12:07 AM on February 13, 2009


Nothing new here. I'm wondering what would the long-term effects of 5-methoxy-6-methyl-2-aminoindan be?
posted by daksya at 12:07 AM on February 13, 2009


The whole cut with random other drugs/being sold "ecstasy" that isn't MDMA is pretty much a thing of the past. Dealers used to press pills of various other drugs like the 2C family, 5-MeO-DMT, etc. and sell them as "ecstasy" because those chemicals used to be legal and could be freely ordered in bulk, and it was cheaper and safer to do that than illegally manufacturing MDMA. This isn't a rumor, I knew people that did this and was approached myself by someone who wanted to sell the pure DXM powder I had as ecstasy (I said no - selling DXM to someone expecting ecstasy would be borderline sociopathic, DXM is basically kind of like a less aggressive version of ketamine). All those drugs are now illegal under the analog act, so therefore you might as well just sell real MDMA.

As far as safety goes, none of those other research chemicals were any more dangerous than MDMA. Meth of course is, but I never heard of anyone putting meth in pills sold as ecstasy and I'm fairly sure I never took any that contained meth, unless it was a really small amount. Not disputing that it happens, though.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:37 AM on February 13, 2009


I wonder how much of the slight (but clinically irrelevant) memory and depression problems are actually caused by the meth adulterant? Since it was a survey study, the researchers are assuming the users know what drugs were imbibed.
posted by benzenedream at 12:39 AM on February 13, 2009


The negative long term effects of ecstasy pale in comparison to the negative long term effects of simply being a Raver.
posted by sourwookie at 1:11 AM on February 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


There are numerous reported deaths attributed to MDMA.

It's actually pretty hard to die from MDMA. The number of fatalities associated with ecstasy use is pretty low, especially considering that most people who died "from MDMA" were mixing it with alcohol and/or other drugs or were suffering hypo- or hypernatremia (drinking too little or too much water). I have some cites at work that I'll try to post tomorrow (I work in a drug research lab, and incidentally we're starting up our latest ecstasy study.).

If you're going to use an illicit drug, MDMA's probably one of the safer ones out there. Predictable and consistent effects, low addictive potential, crappy but bearable comedown. This all said with the caveat that if you have a history of depression you probably don't want to be fucking with your serotonin, which is why I personally won't touch the stuff. But I'll give it to research subjects with no ethical qualms at all.
posted by granted at 1:29 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's actually pretty hard to die from MDMA

Mother describes heartache over daughter’s ecstasy death

posted by UbuRoivas at 2:46 AM on February 13, 2009


As someone who has taken it, I can confirm slight memory failure and depression issues.

These are problems that may not weigh much in and of themselves, but when you layer worse memory and slight depression over a few years of your life, you come out in a negative.

It's like slightly lowering the interest rate of your savings account, and slightly increasing the interest rate of your debt account. Then jump 3-4 years. It'll cost you.

There's other significant stuff: The experience. Both good and bad. Bad experience turns into good experience.

I say: Go cautiously, but go.
posted by krilli at 2:59 AM on February 13, 2009


It's actually pretty hard to die from MDMA

Mother describes heartache over daughter’s ecstasy death

Tossing a bunch of pills down your throat and actually dying from taking a "dose" is a little bit different don't you think?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:33 AM on February 13, 2009


Oldie, but a goodie -

"Video games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all run around in a darkened room munching pills and listening to repetitive music."
posted by gman at 3:59 AM on February 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Tossing a bunch of pills down your throat and actually dying from taking a "dose" is a little bit different don't you think?

yeah, but this was topical, only having happened the other week.

she apparently took all her three pills in one go in fear of police sniffer dogs, entered the festival, went on some kind of carnival ride & started convulsing & whatnot, was taken to hospital & died within the next 24hrs.

so i guess one pill might be safe, but three might kill you. that sounds like a reasonable enough safety factor to me.

[not drug-ist]
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:04 AM on February 13, 2009


The problem with ecstacy is that it costs three dollars a pill nowadays. And you get what you pay for.

Because real MDMA is expensive... right. You get what your dealer gives you. Know your dealer.
posted by gman at 4:11 AM on February 13, 2009


carnally, if possible.

then you get it for free.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:14 AM on February 13, 2009


This plays in my head every time I go see him.
posted by gman at 4:21 AM on February 13, 2009


better this.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:31 AM on February 13, 2009


so i guess one pill might be safe, but three might kill you. that sounds like a reasonable enough safety factor to me.

I hope you're kidding, right?

Well linking randomly to an article about how someone died from Ecstasy doesn't make it topical or prove any kind of point. What was your point? Should I link to articles about people dying from aspirin and "prove my point" about how aspirin is worse than Ex? Data point of one doesn't show anything. What were the dose of the pills? Are you so sure taking three times as much of any other drugs won't kill you? Because that's a bold statement. I could take quite a large dose of water, and if you gave me three times that dose I would die from that too.

I'm not trying to support Ex or anything, and have never touched the stuff. But could you two please not derail this any further?
posted by P.o.B. at 4:40 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll never forget the story we got hammered into our skulls in drugs education classes at school. Girl named Leah Betts died after taking a single pill on her 18th birthday. Ecstasy kills, we were told.

Turns out she died of water intoxication and hyponatremia - a result of believing it was a good idea to drink shitloads of water while high. The moral of the story? I don't even know anymore.

The documentary "Drugs: The Phoney War" gives a good analysis of the economics of cutting crap into street drugs. I don't know about meth or rat poison, but I know that if the dealer can make another £300 by splicing paracetamol into a batch, he'll do it. Only legalisation & regulation can help prevent that.
posted by Acey at 4:42 AM on February 13, 2009


Derailing is a well known side effect of ecstasy.

[drug-ist]
posted by gman at 4:48 AM on February 13, 2009


P.o.B, mate, I previously didn't know you from a bar of soap, but I realise now we have a deep spiritual connection, like we were umbilical twins in the womb in some kind of parallel universe. C'mon, let's make up and hug.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:01 AM on February 13, 2009


Only if we dose up first.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:06 AM on February 13, 2009


Agreed, but you're paying.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:08 AM on February 13, 2009


YACWA chief executive Lisa Laschon said the police operation was to make patrons feel “threatened, intimidated and fearful, in the hope that young people would decide not to consume illicit substances at the event or at future events."

When did "to protect and serve" get changed into making the public "threatened, intimidated and fearful"?

she apparently took all her three pills in one go in fear of police sniffer dogs

Seems to me that she died because she was afraid of the police.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:27 AM on February 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Perfect example of when drugs should be legalised.

I'It doesnt surprise me that MDMA gets a fairly clear bill of health, but, unfortunately, when you buy an E you are not buying MDMA. From the discussion above it's pretty clear that there are geographical differences; here in the UK I've always thought 'E' was a cocktail of speed, ketamine and, possibly, heroin.

It would be great to think that the government would recognise that blanket bans were not only ineffective, but actually dangerous by suppressing education, pomoting misinformation and disengaging from quality control.

I'd love to be able to go round to the local store and get some (organic, fairtrade) weed and maybe some (guaranteed purity) MDMA for a special occasion!
posted by BadMiker at 5:37 AM on February 13, 2009


December Boy: The whole cut with random other drugs/being sold "ecstasy" that isn't MDMA is pretty much a thing of the past. Dealers used to press pills of various other drugs like the 2C family, 5-MeO-DMT, etc. and sell them as "ecstasy" because those chemicals used to be legal and could be freely ordered in bulk, and it was cheaper and safer to do that than illegally manufacturing MDMA

This is still going on though. Just with different legal alternatives - mainly piperazines (BZP etc) which are still legally available in the UK and Ireland.

As far as safety goes, none of those other research chemicals were any more dangerous than MDMA.

Surely the whole point of calling something an RC is that we don't know how dangerous it is, though? That said, I'd agree that we don't have any evidence that they are.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:37 AM on February 13, 2009


always reckoned that meth was a byproduct of the (maybe shoddily implemented) process of making MDMA. The MA in MDMA does stand for methamphetamine after all.

Someone with better knowledge than me should speak here, but you don't get meth as a by-product of the MDMA synth.

I'm sure this is on erowid.org somewhere, but that site is blocked at work so I can't look it up.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:39 AM on February 13, 2009


plur
posted by exlotuseater at 5:53 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression,

and techno.
posted by jonmc at 6:23 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe.

I have a stack of trance mixes here that begs to differ.
posted by Adam_S at 6:24 AM on February 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's also affected my ability to make jokes quickly, jonmc.
posted by Adam_S at 6:26 AM on February 13, 2009


Turns out she died of water intoxication and hyponatremia - a result of believing it was a good idea to drink shitloads of water while high. The moral of the story? I don't even know anymore.

I hit reload instead of "new tab" after typing up a long response to this, but basically, lots of people do really stupid shit while really high on some drugs. Even if they don't have long-term health disadvantages, it doesn't mean that they don't have short-term health disadvantages, like dying of drug-induced stupidity. And killing other people, whether by accident or on purpose, due to drug-induced stupidity. (I'll include alcohol in this statement, because it's a harmful drug when consumed to excess that causes people to die and kill others, & to shut down the "But booze is legal" argument. That's another debate. Please.)

This is where I can't rationalize the "All drugs should be legal -- let me put in my body whatever I desire" argument that some make. It's the rational extreme of the current drug war which I also do not support, due to the number of people dying of bullet wounds or spending multiple years incarcerated for minor infractions, but the problem is until there's the political will in the country to address the drug problem on all fronts, we will probably have a "drug war." You can't just say "Okay, they're legal. Go to it." Well, you can, but good luck with that, and the neighbors who are having psychotic episodes on bathtub speed. You'd need to garner the political will to:

1. "Decriminalize," (which can have various meanings, but to me means no jail-term for possession of consumable amounts -- don't tell me there wouldn't still be trafficking)
2. Regulate & legally manufacture & distribute & tax, and possibly prescribe (The Hippocratic oath would prevent quite a few doctors from opting in to prescribing LSD. Do we sell methamphetamine over the counter like Nyquil or Budweiser?) Let's get real, here.
3. Treat the chronic abusers who do become a harm to themselves and society, despite your new drug Utopia.

Anyone who thinks this is remotely possible in America in the next 20 years really ought to re-examine their conclusions here, and start to look for a workable middle ground that can at least find less people shot dead and in jail over 1/4 oz. of pot.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:50 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]



I'It doesnt surprise me that MDMA gets a fairly clear bill of health, but, unfortunately, when you buy an E you are not buying MDMA. From the discussion above it's pretty clear that there are geographical differences; here in the UK I've always thought 'E' was a cocktail of speed, ketamine and, possibly, heroin.

You've always thought wrong. Dancesafe did regular tests of the chemical composition of E tablets in the late 90s and early 2000s, and it was very rare that any of them were anything but pure MDMA. The ones that weren't were generally pure DXM (Robotussin). Anything else made no sense. Ecstasy is the best of all possible drugs. There's no way to make it better by cutting it with anything, and it's also fairly cheap to make, so you don't save money by cutting it with anything.

Other possibilities are MDA (Actually stronger, longer lasting and more intense than MDMA but not as purely pleasant), and caffeine, and meth, but those were pretty rare to cut it with.

Now, I haven't been involved in that scene in at least 5 years, so I don't know if it's changed very much, but I kind of doubt it.

Btw, there is absolutely no rave scene left on the east coast of the US right now, it's sad really. What are the youth of today destroying their brains on? Whatever it is, it can't be as good.
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Treat the chronic abusers who do become a harm to themselves and society, despite your new drug Utopia.

aka Working towards a society where people don't feel the need to fuck themselves up so much, instead of trying to guilt them into toeing the line. Sounds like a good idea to me... wait, why aren't we already doing this?
posted by symbollocks at 7:10 AM on February 13, 2009


I've loved electronic/"rave" music since the mid-1990s, but I was never adventurous enough to seek out raves until 1999 or so, and that was held in a community center. I've never taken e, though something about me made others think I should have some on hand. At the first Coachella Valley Music and Arts Fest, some older guy (in his 40s to 50s) asked me for e. I was just sitting there, but I was wearing a vivid orange shirt with an Oompa Loompa on the front, so that might have counted for something. Then I was dancing to Hybrid in a theater (poor location choice, as fixed seats limit the dancing space to the isles), and a lady in her 20s asked me for e. I was one of the few dancing in the isles, so I'll take credit for it again. Then my sister told me she understood why I liked the music I listened to, because she went to some mountain rave and took e. I told her I had never tried it, and didn't plan to. She didn't believe me.

Apparently having fun, or looking like you're overly lively, will classify you to some as a provider or user of e. All that time, I just liked the music, and had fun dancing. I'll equate it to drinking beer and "being able" to dance at a show. I'm not saying ecstasy is an equivalent to beer, just that they both lower inhibitions. Some people can dance and enjoy music without a substance to lower their concerns about things. Some people think they need to be able to blame a substance.

In an odd coincidence, my background music is The Qemists - The Perfect High, which starts with an intro stating "... another burned out soul, who's looking for an alchemist to turn his trip to gold. Boy, it's never in the ... stash, nor the drugist's shelf, son. If you find the perfect high, look inside yourself." Warning: ridiculous DnB, and quite possibly not your cup o' tea.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've had e a few times, starting when it was legal (yes - someone came to my university with a baggie of white powder - "It's a new diet drug from Toronto").

Frankly, it never really worked well for me. I always feel like I'm about to trip, but never do. I don't like the hot flushes. And it makes you touchy-feely but prevents you from getting a really decent, er, er...

Give me acid any time. Or mushrooms otherwise.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:29 AM on February 13, 2009


What are the youth of today destroying their brains on? Whatever it is, it can't be as good.

If the east coast of the U.S. is anything like the west coast of Canada, kids are either hipster douchebags on coke or R&B kids on coke. These new(old) drugs are just so soulless.
posted by vansly at 7:46 AM on February 13, 2009


whew.
posted by lunit at 7:48 AM on February 13, 2009


empath, a perusal of the EcstasyData result catalogue couple of years ago suggested that 60% of E is MDMA + inert stuff whereas the rest is MDMA + active filler or just something else, usually MDA, MDE and occasionally meth or Sp.K. I would assume only a moderate deviation from a representative sample. My friend's experience also suggests that E pills which were other than pure MDMA were more than "very rare".

Devils Rancher: The Hippocratic oath would prevent quite a few doctors from opting in to prescribing LSD

That'd depend on the prevailing view on LSD. Psychiatrists were comfortable enough with it in the 50s and 60s. For some tentative period post-legalization, I do think there'll be a cautious approach. But in the long run, doctors will be as comfortable as Strassman was with his DMT subjects or members of UDV seem to be with their practice.
posted by daksya at 7:59 AM on February 13, 2009


If the east coast of the U.S. is anything like the west coast of Canada, kids are either hipster douchebags on coke or R&B kids on coke. These new(old) drugs are just so soulless.

The west coast of Canada certainly has the heroin advantage.
posted by gman at 8:08 AM on February 13, 2009


>"...ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe."

Ah, good ol' drug hysteria. Back in the mid-'80s I remember being shown a number of videos in school to the effect that cocaine was The Worst Drug In The World - ONE SNIFF and you were hooked for life!

The first time I did ecstacy was one of the best nights of my life. My only regret in regard to that particular drug is that I didn't do more of it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:14 AM on February 13, 2009


Back in the late 90s I was blessed to have a beautiful source of pure E for quite a few months. I'm so glad I got the chance to experience it.

Alas the come downs were too harsh for me, and after one time I told my girlfriend that I was going to quite, and she made me promise, and now I can never do it again :(

Not that I find it readily available.

I did get a bunk pill once. We were sharing with our friend the first time, and it ended up being DXM, which took my experienced friend and I for a loop, and made my other friend say it wasn't what she expected.

I think for those who aren't predisposed to depression/bipolar issues, E is a good thing in moderation.

I know of a DJ or producer or something in Canada who has drifted on to coke, from what I hear, and it saddens the rest of us in the circle. But such is life. I don't think he's a hipster douchebag though. God I hope not!

I think the biggest problem from E aside from hyponatraemia is the illegality and impurity issues.
posted by symbioid at 8:16 AM on February 13, 2009


Test kits and distributed "testing" done by people at sites like Pill Reports reduces a lot of the dangers from street pills. Of course, it's still risky taking anything from an untrusted source, but I'm sure a lot of people on here already know all of the above.

Like Infinite Jest said, a lot of people seem to be reporting pills cut with piperazines nowadays.

It's a shame our governments are still actively pursuing policies that endanger people, but all of this has already been said many times before.
posted by formless at 8:43 AM on February 13, 2009


As far as safety goes, none of those other research chemicals were any more dangerous than MDMA. Meth of course is

Of course. It's so dangerous we prescribe it to children.

The biggest danger from methamphetamine is that it's really cheap. Of course lots of people are going to fuck up their lives on the cheapest available stimulant. If coke were cheaper than speed, they'd be doing coke instead.
posted by Justinian at 9:49 AM on February 13, 2009


basically, lots of people do really stupid shit while really high on some drugs. Even if they don't have long-term health disadvantages, it doesn't mean that they don't have short-term health disadvantages, like dying of drug-induced stupidity. And killing other people, whether by accident or on purpose, due to drug-induced stupidity. (I'll include alcohol in this statement, because it's a harmful drug when consumed to excess that causes people to die and kill others, & to shut down the "But booze is legal" argument. That's another debate. Please.)

People do really stupid shit because of love, or because they think they love someone who doesn't love them them back. Sometimes, they kill the object of their love or throw acid in her face People do really stupid shit because their preacher tells them to, including handling poisonous snakes and denying their children health care. People do really stupid shit because of sports, such as subjecting themselves to the possibility that they or their children will be paralyzed, brain damaged, or killed on a football field. People do really stupid shit because they love animals, such as hoarding hundreds of them in unsanitary conditions and creating a health hazard to themselves and their community. People do really stupid shit because of patriotism, such as going over the top of a trench when they will almost certainly be killed doing so. People do really stupid shit because they want kids, such as having eight of them at once despite the fact that they can't support them financially.

Which of those activities should be illegal because of their attendant stupid shit?

And no, the "but booze is legal" is not another debate. It is the same debate. We accept the bad stuff that comes along with legal alcohol because the bad stuff that comes with making it illegal is worse. That is exactly the same situation we are seeing with illegal drugs today.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


The idea of putting someone in jail at all for E is just totally absurd to me.

I think denying it to people who could benefit from it is the criminal act. It changed my life and a lot of my friends lives in a tremendously positive way.
posted by empath at 11:02 AM on February 13, 2009


As a former addict, I think I'd best bow out of this thread. Y'all have fun, and keep an eye out for The Man.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:30 AM on February 13, 2009


I feel for you, DR. But there's a reason we don't let families of murder victims formulate the law with regard to murder trials and sentencing; it's the same reason that we probably shouldn't let former addicts or families of addicts formulate the law with regard to drug crimes and sentencing. Namely, they can't be objective since it hits too close to home.
posted by Justinian at 11:51 AM on February 13, 2009


But, it's so fucking great!
posted by orme at 1:36 PM on February 13, 2009


Your dealer must be a much more dramatic character than I'm used to, gman. I usually hear this.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:59 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]



I feel for you, DR. But there's a reason we don't let families of murder victims formulate the law with regard to murder trials and sentencing; it's the same reason that we probably shouldn't let former addicts or families of addicts formulate the law with regard to drug crimes and sentencing. Namely, they can't be objective since it hits too close to home.

This is the same reason I don't think we should let gay people have a voice in regards to gay marriage.

Seriously though, no one is ever objective. What we can really hope for at best is a compromise of perspectives. As a former heavy drug user (addict in the eyes of some, though never in my own) myself, it is quite clear to me that there are things that you can never understand about drugs unless you've been heavily involved in them yourself. Does this mean that everyone else should stand back and accept people like Devils Rancher and myself as the authorities on sane drug use? Of course not, but I would love it if our voices were at least considered to be of value on the subject.
posted by 256 at 2:05 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Government works best when it does things like install stop lights at intersections. Using the road is dangerous; the body count from 9/11 is dwarfed by traffic fatalites in any given year. Nonetheless it's understood that people have a basic right to go where they like.

In the case of the drug war, the government has effectively closed all streets by edict because using the streets could result in death. The roads are still in use by millions of people, but without stop lights, or any street signs (since allowing these would be 'soft on crime'). Gangs of police patrol the 'closed' streets and randomly pull cars over to rob them. The majority of the population agrees that this is the best policy, since using the streets is against the law.
posted by mullingitover at 2:12 PM on February 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ecstacy, although less so than marijuna, can cause depersonalization disorder in some. I personally developed it after smoking marijuana, and although I've become leaps and bounds more normal feeling than I was a few months ago, with depersonalization becoming the exception rather than the norm, and episodes of dp becoming less of a big deal, the road here was nothing I'd recommend to others. Thankfully I had a good support system. I had also previously devoured David Burns's CBT books, most notably When Panic Attacks, and I credit a lot of my recovery to techniques they taught me. However, others might not be so fortunate, and from what I've read it seems that many struggle even after going to therapy or going on SSRIs.

One could argue that I was at risk because of previous anxiety issues, and that would probably be very right. I had even had a couple of very brief episodes of depersonalization in the past during times of extreme stress. The majority of people can smoke all the dope and pop all the pills they want and never have a problem, but as someone who's experienced a unique and relatively little known side effect, I feel it's my duty to at least call attention to the possibility during a discussion like this.
posted by Defenestrator at 2:27 PM on February 13, 2009


Of course not, but I would love it if our voices were at least considered to be of value on the subject.

But you're making assumptions about the experiences of other people. By saying "As a former heavy drug user, it is clear to me that..." or whatever implies that all people with that experience agree with you. They do not.

I've seen people screw up their lives because of drugs up close. I don't see that as an argument against legalization given that I've also seen people screw up their lives because of plenty of other, legal, things.
posted by Justinian at 3:16 PM on February 13, 2009


Devils Rancher: The Hippocratic oath would prevent quite a few doctors from opting in to prescribing LSD

Why is that? You do know that the words "First, do no harm" do not appear in the Hippocratic Oath? It's actually quite specific in its various incarnations about letting the scientific method be the guide. And also that the LSD was used in some interesting trials about treating alcohlism which were curtailed by its illegalisation in the 60s?
posted by Sparx at 4:21 PM on February 13, 2009


it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression

Roughly the equivalent of parency then.
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on February 13, 2009


Played the subculture tourist awhile ago in a 15 year old scene, in terms of loss of mind the staple of crap coke & booze imho had done the serious damage, the scariness / cynicism probably were the pschedelics, the remoteness came from jacking out of and back into the matrix a few times to many, and the neuroticness from the pot. The E, come to think of it. That probably helped balance them.

Anyway, I feel most of my neurons that the Ecstasy nuked were bad neurons which were totally hurting all the time. Please see here (brilliant askMe answer by ikkiyu2).
posted by yoHighness at 6:57 PM on February 13, 2009


The present has gone. Fantasy is a part of reality, but we take the brakes off. We're thinking clearly, yet not thinking at all. This feels right. We stop trying to control things; a warm rush of chemicals through us. Is this... brain damage? We forget all the hurt and pain in life. We wanna go somewhere else. We're not threatened by people anymore. All our insecurities have evaporated. We're in the clouds now. Wide open, we're spacemen, orbiting the earth.

Yea, the world looks beautiful from here. We're nympholeptics, desiring for the unattainable. We risk sanity for moments of temporary enlightenment. So many ideas, so little memory. The last thought killed by anticipation of the next. We embrace an overwhelming feeling of love. We flow in unison. We're together. I wish this was real. We want a universal level of togetherness, where we're comfortable with everyone. We're in rhythym, part of the movement.

We wave goodbye,. Ultimately, we just want to be happy. Yeah, yeah ... Hang on.. What the fuck was I just talking about?
posted by empath at 7:37 PM on February 13, 2009


I love you, Metafilter. Want a backrub? Frozen grapes are SO GOOD.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:27 PM on February 13, 2009


"The Hippocratic oath would prevent quite a few doctors from opting in to prescribing LSD"

Quite a bit of research was underway when the government made it illegal even for medical or experimental research. There's a lot of evidence that it can be used therapeutically, such as for depression or addiction problems. MDMA has been used to treat PTSD, and it's been found effective.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:52 AM on February 14, 2009


Devil's Rancher: 'Do we sell methamphetamine over the counter like Nyquil or Budweiser?) Let's get real, here.'

No, we don't sell methamphetamine like nyquil or budweiser. You need to be 18 and 21 to take those things. We give amphetamines to children.
posted by mullingitover at 10:59 AM on February 14, 2009


Well, technically, we do give Nyquil to children too. But I get your point.
posted by serazin at 10:03 PM on February 14, 2009


Also, you can trip your balls off with a bottle Nyquil/Robotussin.
posted by empath at 9:20 AM on February 15, 2009


DXM? Talk about your low quality highs.
posted by Justinian at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2009


Point is that it's another powerful psychoactive drug we allow children to take.
posted by empath at 4:32 PM on February 15, 2009


I'm not disagreeing, just taking the opportunity to mock DXM. (mock mock mock)
posted by Justinian at 6:27 PM on February 15, 2009


Peanuts vs. Ecstasy - Which is Safer?
posted by homunculus at 2:09 PM on February 20, 2009


One of the best recreational drugs out there. Period. And I've done most of them.
posted by chaostheory at 8:04 AM on February 24, 2009


Ecstasy treatment draws rave reviews for vet treatment
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM on March 7, 2009


Ecstasy (MDMA) Threatens Rare Cambodian Tree
posted by homunculus at 6:32 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


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