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.
Lets ditch harm minimization for world's best practice.
Ecstasy has potent immunosuppressant qualities which have the ability to increase an individual's susceptibility to disease according to scientists at the annual British Association for the Advancement of Science festival in Dublin.
Ecstasy has been linked to psychiatric illnesses including depression, psychosis and anxiety.
Scientists are reporting unusual illnesses in young Ecstasy users like shingles of the eye and meningitis which causes inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
Those suffering from depression induced by Ecstasy could be more difficult to treat because it negates depression medications.
(Source: Reuters Health)
In Australia Ecstasy is commonly used in clubs, raves and hotels to extend partying and keep them dancing through the night.
The recent Australian Crime Commission report quotes the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime- "that Australia has the highest rate of Ecstasy consumption per capita in the world".
With this high use of Ecstasy in Australia our potential for escalating health problems of young adults is very high calling for higher health and mental health outlays.
Illicit drug use is preventable so future health problems are also preventable which is why we need early intervention programs to get young adults off Ecstasy.
Lets ditch harm minimization for what works.
Australia has more identified ecstasy laboratories than any other nation according to the world drug report of the United Nations.
Australia was the second highest nation after Netherlands for ecstasy seizures.
Ecstasy manufacture groups are shifting their criminal operations from Europe closer to their markets like Australia.
Large quantities of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are being imported by air cargo flights into Australia.
Last July authorities intercepted a single shipment of 850 kilograms of pseudoephedrine from Thailand.
The illicit drug ICE, methamphetamine, accounts for 83 per cent by weight of seized imports into Australia mainly form Canada.
(Source: Sydney Morning Herald report on the United Nations World Drug Report, 26 June 2009)
Australia is a target for illicit drugs because of our huge demand.
This demand is placing pressure on Australian authorities to try and stop the flood of drugs through our porous borders.
Australia must reduce the demand for drugs by getting our illicit drug users off drugs by court ordered detoxification and rehabilitation for all illicit drug users that are identified in our community.
Our Council recommends early intervention detoxification and rehabilitation to get users off drugs as cost effective.
Ecstasy is the second most commonly used Australian drug after cannabis.
Ecstasy is increasingly being manufactured in Australia at clandestine laboratories.
Of the illicit drug laboratories detected in Australia in 2008/9, 19 were producing ecstasy almost double the 11 detected in the previous year.
Tablets sold as ecstasy are unpredictable.
Ecstasy interferes with the body's ability to regulate temperature and can result in death, liver, kidney and heart failure.
Long term use results in brain damage, paranoia, hypothermia and severe hallucinations.
(Source: Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2008/9 released 8 June 2010)
Ecstasy demand is still high in Australia and is responsible for many mental problems for Australian users.
Ecstasy use is a major cause of brain damage and high demand for Australian mental health systems.
ALL ecstasy users need to be diverted into drug rehabilitation at the first apprehension to get them free of drug use.
Early intervention ecstasy rehabilitation is cost effective in saving mental health problems, reducing demand on our hospitals and prevents brain damage before it becomes chronic and irreversible.
Its time to invest in rehabilitation programs that are backed by court diversion programs that help users to quit.
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