The following is a response to:

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20110324/teen-er-visits-due-to-ecstacy-are-on-the-rise

It’s amazing how emphasizing one aspect of a study over another can skew a person’s view on a subject.  This… let’s call it a Press Release… No, how about a Study Summary?  Teen ER Visits Due to Ecstasy Are on the Rise.  That’s an interesting title, and after reading this Study Summary I have a second opinion regarding the title, excuse the pun.  This block of words and numbers could have easily been titled “Everything in Ecstasy Except MDMA is Bad For You.”  Or, another possibility is “Teen  Population on the Rise.”  Or how about, “ER Visits as a Whole Are on the Rise.”  Or another personal favorite “MDMA: Seriously Way Less Dangerous Than Everything Else.”

The United States of America has the fastest population growth rate of all industrialized countries, according to a World Population Data Sheet in July of 2003 from the Population Reference Bureau.  And the National Center for Health Statistics says there are 1.6 million more births each year in the US than deaths.  4 Million new babies per year.  This Study Summary claims an increase of 40% over three years, when there must be at least two or three million new teenagers every year.  People who have ingested Ecstasy, a word I abhor by the way, will typically ingest it again in the future.  There’s a reason there’s no such thing as Ecstasy Anonymous.  MDMA is not easily accessible to everyone; Marijuana and Cocaine are probably much more available and desirable among youths.  Never mind the availability and wealth of alcohol to teenagers.

So, as you can imagine, there aren’t many people who would claim to have used MDMA in 2005 who would not claim the same thing just three years later.  Add to that the, literally, millions of new teenagers discovering something far worse than any drug or drink available locally, the internet.  Yes, the internet can, and probably will, change your teenager in one way or another.  There are a lot of things you can do with the knowledge at your fingertips.  One thing teenagers can use the internet for is learning about the wonders of human inebriation.  However the internet holds more psychedelic majesty than any normal adult would ever care to learn about.

With that being said, MDMA has a certain appeal, especially to young people.  First of all it’s a drug from “this generation” you could say.  Mushrooms have always existed, LSD was the 60s, cocaine in the 80s, and Ecstasy in the 90s.  MDMA is also associated with electronic music, which is still popular with teenagers to this day.  Another point to mention is the lack of any deaths from MDMA, or even Ecstasy, the dirty whore of a sibling.  I’d be interested in seeing the data comparing alcohol overdose to every other substance.  Who can say no to a drug that guarantees a happy experience with a low risk of overdose, when the legal competition is a highly dangerous liquid capable of inducing suicide, homicide, and so much more?

Overdose.  I’ve been using this word a lot.  When I say the term “Ecstasy Overdose” most people are just thinking of the drug, MDMA, street name Ecstasy, causing overdoses.  However, this is not entirely true.  In fact, it’s mostly false.  Ecstasy pills are notoriously impure creations of human greed, containing everything from Methamphetamine to Mephedrone to BZP, Caffeine, or TFMPP.  Fortunately I don’t know this first hand, but most human beings would not voluntarily ingest many of those chemicals, and some Ecstasy pills contain a combination of those chemicals, and even worse, sometimes they contain no MDMA what-so-ever.

So how can you even properly have statistics regarding “Ecstasy” the pill, instead of MDMA the chemical?  It doesn’t seem logical.  And even in the chimera trucker doppelganger candy form we call Ecstasy, it’s only ranked 7th for “most commonly involved illicit drug involved in emergency department visits, behind cocaine, which accounted for 48.5% of the ER visits, marijuana (37.7%), heroin (20.2%), methamphetamine (6.7%), PCP or phencylidine (3.8%), and amphetamines (3.2%)”

MDMA was once a prescription drug that was praised by the psychiatric community for its effects.  As I remember it, it was used to treat terminally ill patients and help them cope with their mortality while allowing them to connect on a more personal level with loved ones, while also treating more common problems like depression.  MDMA is truly a magical chemical, which, when used in its pure form, is very safe and enjoyable for an extremely high percentage of users.  I still make an effort to experience the benefits of Shulgin’s creation at least a couple times per year.

I’d like to end this with another reference from this Study Summary, something you might not have noticed that frightened and confused me on a primal level.  Let’s see that quote one more time…

“Ecstasy was the seventh most commonly involved illicit drug involved in emergency department visits, behind cocaine, which accounted for 48.5% of the ER visits, marijuana (37.7%), heroin (20.2%), methamphetamine (6.7%), PCP or phencylidine (3.8%), and amphetamines (3.2%).”

According to this study, 37.7% of ALL illicit drug-related ER visits are for marijuana.  Seriously?  Seriously… Words cannot describe the emotions rising up within me as I read this series of numbers and letters.  The part of my brain involved with reading is telling myself “Yes, that is what they said.”  Meanwhile, the part of my brain that is aware of the fact that no one has ever died from marijuana ever in the history of written language, no, in the history of spoken word and storytelling, is flaring up something fierce.  A bolt of lightning, not unlike the ones used in pain relief advertisements, is connecting these parts of my brain striking my mind repeatedly over and over, incapable of processing these two facts.  Because, after all, they are both facts.  These people are actually going to the hospital, it’s not a lie.  I would be thrilled to see the marijuana overdose episode of House.