Ecstasy brain damage

A new study by the University of Amsterdam has shown that low doses of Ecstasy by first time users causes brain damage.

The study of 188 volunteers aged below 21 years of age showed that first time Ecstasy users had reduced blood flow to their brain which affected their memory.

The conclusion from the study is that Ecstasy even in small doses is not safe for the brain and that people should be informed of the risks.

(Source: The Melbourne Age 29 November 2006)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Ecstasy is one of the major illicit drugs used at clubs and hotels in Australia so the brain damage even to first time users is disturbing.

Past medical research has shown that long term and heavy Ecstasy use can damage serotonin dependant neurons and cause depression, anxiety, confusion, sleep difficulty and memory problems.

The United Nations Office of Drug Control has reported that Australia has the highest consumption of Ecstasy per capita in the world.

The Australian Crime Commission reported earlier this year that one in ten 18 and 19 year olds had used Ecstasy in the past 12 months making the potential for brain damage for young people very high.

This high Ecstasy use in Australia is fuelling large flow of funds to criminal groups that manufacture or import the Ecstasy.

The potential health budget costs to deal with the brain damage will impose massive costs on Australian governments and trauma to the families of Ecstasy users.