With the summer music festival season approaching, we thought it was high time to talk drugs, particularly that festival fave, ecstasy. Born in 1912 but popularized in the late ’80s Manchester rave scene, MDMA has now clearly moved into much wider circles of use. Part stimulant, part hallucinogen MDMA seems to be everywhere. As with most drugs purity can be a real issue, but even in its purest form the research is mounting, E can be dangerous. Acutely MDMA may cause thirst and many have wound up in the ER with seizures due to a low blood level of sodium (a result of drinking way too much water). Overheating is another potential danger and the most common factor in E-related deaths. Most users know too well the “terrible Tuesday” phenomenon, where emotions crash a few days after use, often to some serious depression. Most alarming is data suggesting long term nerve damage and serotonin depletion.
There are several cool websites with oodles of info:
- www.clubdrugs.org –info from the National Institutes of Health
- www.erowid.org — “a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues”
As with all risky ventures, the best plan is risk reduction. If abstinence is not an option, the experts would suggest the following:
- Check purity – above websites have pictures of different types and their purity and test kits are available
- Drink fluids like you normally would, don’t drink gallons of water
- Avoid overheating: take dance breaks, sit and rest, seek fresh air and shade
- Don’t mix ecstasy with other drugs (including prescriptions, alcohol and marijuana)
- Don’t repeat doses
- Don’t drive!
- Most importantly, have a trusted, sober person around to keep on eye on you. They can guage better than you can, if you need to rest, cool down, drink or stop drinking!
Have a safe festival season.
[Guest post by Mike]