A new Dangers of Drugs booklet issued by the Salvation Army has outlined the dangers of ecstasy.
The booklet claims one in five young adults had used ecstasy, up 33%.
Illicit drug use starts to increase around school leaving age and the average age is 22 for their first try of ecstasy.
Ecstasy has been linked with brain damage in users leading to depression, memory loss, psychological problems and an increased risk of developing a disease similar to Parkinsons disease.
(Source: Salvation Army media release 4 Nov 04)
The Victorian Government has ruled out a trial program of testing ecstasy tablets at venues to ensure they are pure.
(Source: Melbourne Herald Sun 10 Nov 04)
The Federal Government has also ruled out a program of testing ecstasy tablets or any other illicit drug.
(Source: Alcohol & Drugs Council of Australia media release 12 Nov 04)
Overseas medical research outlining the medical and psychological harm of using ecstasy is published by our Council on our web site.
Ecstasy is illegal because of the known harm so Australia needs to REDUCE the proportion of young people using ecstasy to reduce the demand for ecstasy.
The present high and increasing demand for ecstasy is causing problems for federal agencies trying to stop the flood of ecstasy into Australia identified by the Australia Federal Police.
Australia must REDUCE the increasing proportion of young people that are using illicit drugs by implementing detoxification and rehabilitation programs for illicit drug users to get them drug free.
The party drug ECSTASY has been involved in one illicit drug death on average every fortnight for the four years between 2001 and 2004.
Four in ten deaths were due to drug toxicity.
Three in ten deaths were due to road crashes
Other illicit drugs were also present in most of the 112 deaths that were reported with ECSTASY the primary drug involved
Australia has the highest ECSTASY use in the world
Depression, work and study problems were identified for ECSTASY users
ECSTASY was imlicated in sucicides and other accidents as well as car crashes and drug toxicity.
(Source: National drug and Alchol Research Centre at www.ndarc.med.edu.au
Party drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, ice and amphetamines have a much wider impact on contibuting to the death of users than just the toxicity of the chemicals themselves.
Illicit drug users use a cocktail of drugs together, the impact of which can cause the death or injury of others such as in car accidents.
ECSTASY is difficult to test for in drug driving and this causes users to use and drive with blurred vision, hallucinations, dizziness, faintness, convulsions and extreme nervousness.
Australia needs more illicit drug detoxification and rehabilitation programs to reduce the demand and substantially cut the number of users.
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)
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.
Australia has the highest ecstasy use per capita in the world.
Ecstasy is the third most common illicit drug used in Australia with approximately 100,000 tablets used nationally each weekend.
Young people aged 20 to 29 years are the most common ecstasy users with one on five having used ecstasy at some time in their life.
In the past ecstasy has been imported into Australia from Western Europe but more laboratories have been detected here.
More ecstasy shipments from Canada via Hong Kong suggest possible Asian organized crime gangs are involved.
(Source: Australian Crime Commission, Illicit Drug Data Report 2005/6)
Police have seized more ecstasy shipments but Australia's world record demand is fuelling the supply.
Unless Australia reduces the demand for ecstasy by reducing the number of illicit drug users then border protection agencies and law enforcement agencies in Australia will be put under increasing pressure.
Ecstasy use causes death, brain damage, Parkinson disease, psychosis, birth defects, learning and memory problems.
Ecstasy users need to be diverted into court ordered and supervised detoxification and rehabilitation to avoid young people being permanently damaged.
Reduced demand for ecstasy will also dry up drug money going to international drug criminals, improve Australia's reputation and save money being used on border protection and law enforcement.
Ecstasy has become the second most popular illicit drug of choice for Australians over the last 10 years.
There are an estimated half a million ecstasy users in Australia.
Three primary school students on the NSW south coast were recently rushed to hospital after ingesting ecstasy tablets they thought were lollies.
Ecstasy tablets cost only 25 cents to produce overseas and are sold in Australia for up to $35 each.
With such a high profit margin, organized criminal groups are benefiting from the funds and providing an incentive to establish and maintain drug supply chains.
Ecstasy is popular because it can be consumed in tablet form at functions and does not require injecting equipment.
(Source: National Nine News on ninemsn, 25 October 2007)
Ecstasy has also recently been in the news for the deaths caused to high profile people.
With such a high ecstasy usage in Australia driving demand, pressure is applied to border protection agencies to stop the flow of drugs.
As well as the health dangers from using ecstasy, apart from death, such a high popular use poses the potential for huge health costs in the future.
Australia must now act to introduce effective compulsory detoxification and rehabilitation to reduce the demand for all illicit drugs.
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