News reaches us that Ecstasy isnât as bad as the authorities have led to us believe.
Politicians always seem to be on the prohibitionist side and have been telling us that drugs are bad. Drugs lead you into the depths of hell. Drugs are taboo. They have been backing their claims up with scientific evidence though not everyone agrees that the evidence means that Ecstasy should be classified as a very dangerous drug. But even those who disagree about the classification have agreed that Ecstasy can cause long term damage.
But it seems that the scientific evidence has been a bit lax in checking all the facts out. A bit like the climate change science that cherry picks its figures to push its message and to keep the up the funding for the scientists.
What all the previous studies into Ecstasy have missed out is that the environment in which the drugis taken can cause lasting damage on its own. Yep, raves. When the scientists studied the damage to mental capabilities of taking Ecstasy for long periods they used as controls people who didnât and who also werenât ravers.
The latest study has found that when the controls are ravers who didnât take drink or drugs but did stay up late and danced till exhausted the results were a bit different. What was found was that both groups of ravers had similar deterioration in cognitive facilities. Mainly due to the lack of sleep and dehydration rather than Ecstasy.
It seems more studies should be taken into whether the group of people who rave about drug abuse are actually under the influence of alcohol. Do people who rave but donât take drugs potentially damage their brains for life compared to other groups who donât rave at all? Maybe the ravers should be compared to boxers who also damage their brains. What might be found from all these studies is that every human activity has a risk and everyone weighs up whether it is worthwhile doing for the benefits or pleasure it gives them, be it jumping on a trampoline to smoking.
What is interesting is that when asked if Ecstasy was dangerous the scientists said that it still was. But for totally different reasons to the effects of the drug. J Halpern says
âEcstasy consumption is dangerous: illegally-made pills can contain harmful contaminants, there are no warning labels, there is no medical supervision, and in rare cases people are physically harmed and even die from overdosing.
âIt is important for drug-abuse information to be accurate, and we hope our report will help upgrade public health messages. But while we found no ominous, concerning risks to cognitive performance, that is quite different from concluding that ecstasy use is ârisk-freeâ.â
What this is basically saying is that if the drugs could be guaranteed to be free of contaminants and other shit then fewer people would die from the effects of the bad stuff and from overdosing because of the unknown quality of the drugs.
Maybe what is needed is some form of labelling of drugs with some EU style coding numbers to show the purity of MDMA and its place of manufacture. Surprisingly for authoritarians who like to regulate everything and anything they havenât touched this aspect of life.
 Ecstasy ânoun, 1. Rapturous delight; 2. an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling; 3. the frenzy of poetic inspiration.
 Halpern, J. H., Sherwood, A. R., Hudson, J. I., Gruber, S., Kozin, D. and Pope Jr, H. G. , Residual neurocognitive features of long-term ecstasy users with minimal exposure to other drugs. Addiction, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03252.x