Ecstasy Facts

My experience with Ecstasy is not like you would imagine.

I have never ever taken Ecstasy or for that fact taken any other illegal drugs. Even though I was surrounded by the ecstasy filled rave scene. Me personally I was very much into the music and the experience of dancing in time with people of all cultures and backgrounds. However I won’t be lie and say I never noticed the amount of drugs going around. In actual fact I have some interesting experiences off the back of ecstasy.

Channel4 are putting Ecstasy on trail in another one of their grand experiments.

Nearly half a million people are believed to take the Class A drug ecstasy every year in Britain and the country was dubbed the ‘drug-taking capital of Europe’ in a recent EU Drugs Agency report.

Now, in a UK television first, two live programmes will follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study.

Presented by Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen, the programmes aim to cut through the emotional debate surrounding the issue and accurately inform the public about the effects and potential risks of MDMA.

When I was in school, I had strongly held believes that Ecstasy should be decriminalised and even legalised for many reasons. Most of it is about getting drugs out of the drug dealers hands. But even more to get a base-level quality. Ecstasy use to be cut with all types of crap including brick dust, ketamine, asprin, sugar, etc, etc. So what your buying could be anything. In the past there was rumours of Ecstasy being sold with a coat of LSD. End of the day, you had no idea.

Ecstasy was new on the scene and was instantly demionised by the press. Then Leah Betts died and all hell broke loose. The notion that she had drunk 7-8 litres of water in 90mins was ignored or never came out till much later. After that the war on drugs went into overdrive and by the mid millennium ecstasy was being replaced by other drugs. The point I guess I’m making is it was never tested in lab conditions to see the full effect, who would be allergic to it and the long term effects.

You could say I’m a total hypocrite because I’ve never taken it and never will. But I’d suggest that I can have an opinion and I’ve seen more that enough use in my time.

In times when I rubbed up against ecstasy use. I’ve never seen anyone die, I have seen some admitted to hospital to have there stomach pumped however, I remember spending time in First Aid with a asthmatic attack talking with a girl who had eaten 11 ecstasy pills (of course who knows what were in them) but she was chatting away and hugging people while chewing her lips off. Not a good thing but certainly not what the war on drugs wants you to see and think.

I welcome the Channel4 trial but to be honest I don’t think it will be scientific enough. Ecstasy has been used for many things in the past including a tool for couples having relationship problems. Fact is street ecstasy is nothing like you see in the lab. This is why I was a massive fan of those people who went to raves and clubs and tested ecstasy in the wild. I was also part of the Drugs Awareness Campaign in Bristol and dj’ed for them in many different venues (good to hear it still exists)

Its all about cutting through the hype, crap and frankly bull. Giving people frank honest information. Something the war on drugs never learned…

It upsets me so many people are fed dis-information saying “Just say no…” Hopefully Channel4 can raise a light to this massive issue.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.