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Just What Is Ecstasy?
5/14/2014 3:39:24 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

I don’t get to spend a lot of time around young people since my kids grew up and left the nest. When my children were home, their friends were always at the house so they kept me informed as to what’s going on in the lives of the young. It’s always a good thing to have an open relationship with your children. There are just too many avenues for them to go astray. I don’t have to tell y’all that I am pretty opinionated because the title of my column is a dead giveaway. So, to say my kids are opinionated is just par for the course. Believe me when I tell you the chips didn’t fall too far from the block. They still provide me with too much information. I am sure you have children like that also. My niece, Keisha, is even worst. She is very early forties. She talks very candidly with me about anything including sex. I was talking to her pulling up in my driveway and I almost ran into the garage door. I am trying to keep it clean. This is not an x-rated or tabloid newspaper.

School is about to close for the summer and kids will have a lot of free time on their hands. At one time, all a parent had to worry about was their child drowning in some fishing hole. Now, the range of pastime activities for children has increased from unsafe swim holes to drugs and everything in between. So, how do we keep our children safe?

What is Ecstasy? Without providing an official definition, the word denotes exhilaration or an intense feeling. There is also a dark side to Ecstasy. It is also defined as a very dangerous drug. I don’t want to downplay the effects of the drug—not at all. Ecstasy exhilarates; yet, it kills.

According to the American Council for Drug Education, “Ecstasy is one of the most dangerous drugs threatening young people today.. Called MDMA (3-3-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) by scientists. It is a synthetic chemical that can be derived from an essential oil of the sassafras tree. MDMA is also one of the easiest illegal drugs to obtain. Its effects are similar to those of amphetamines and hallucinogens. Distributed almost anywhere, it has become very popular at social events like raves, hip hop parties, concerts, etc. frequented by both adults and youth. While not all “event” attendees use Ecstasy, the drug often makes the circuit of those parties and can set up dangerous circumstances that can affect everyone there.

I can remember when I was a young child, my grandmother made a tea from the sassafras tree. Little did I know years later, that same tree would produce an essential oil used to manufacture Ecstasy.

“The street names for Ecstasy are: E, Adam, Roll, Bean, X and XTC, Clarity, Essence, Stacy, Lover’s Special and Eve.” It comes in several forms and sizes: “pills-usually white, yellow or brown; the size, shape and design vary. The ills are often branded with designer symbols.” American Council for Drug Education.

“Ecstasy is classified as a “Schedule 1” controlled substance along with other narcotics like heroin, cocaine and LSD. Penalties for possession, delivery and manufacturing can include fines as high as $100,000 and up to 99 years or life in prison, depending on the amount seized.” American Council For Drug Education.

The effects of Ecstasy are similar to that of other amphetamines and hallucinogens. “ It speeds up the nervous system and acts as a mood enhancer. Also referred to as “the love drug”, Ecstasy often makes the user feel good, happy and relaxed, at least at first. Contrary to rumors, Ecstasy is not an aphrodisiac and can actually inhibit sexual performance.” American Council For Drug Education.

Side effects to look for: “ increased heart rate, increased body temperature, increased blood pressure, increased confidence, nausea, anxiety, feelings of well-being (happiness, love), sweating and loss of appetite.” American Council For Drug Education.

Overdose: “Taking too much Ecstasy can result in: extremely high body temperatures; high blood pressure; hallucinations; fast heart beat, breathing problems and death.” American Council For Drug Education.

According to Cesar (center for Substance Abuse Research) at the University of Maryland, “some users have reported taking Ecstasy anally. This usage is referred to as “plugging” or “shafting”. Users have also been known to “parachute” the tablet, by placing the pill in a napkin, crushing it and then swallowing the piece of napkin in an attempt to speed up the drug’s onset. It is sometimes snorted and smoked.”

Needless-to-say, the information regarding the effects of Ecstasy is very alarming and parents need to take the time to educate children on the dangers of the drugs. Students need to report any type of drugs that they see on campus to their parent, teacher and school administrators. Ecstasy is a mind altering drug that kills. Unfortunately, it is found in many schools, including middle schools.

If you suspect your child of using drugs, get help right away. Ecstasy is just one form of illegal drugs. There are short term risks as well as long terms risks but more often the risks ends with death. Listen to your child. Counseling is available through most of the area schools and agencies.

Please don’t let your children die unnecessarily before they have had a chance to live. If you haven’t heard anything that I have said, hear this; know the signs and get help for your child if you suspect that your child is using Ecstasy or any other drugs.

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