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Q. I read in the paper that there's been a big increase in the use of "ecstasy" by kids. When I mentioned it to my 15-year old, she assured me she hadn't used it but said it was "no big deal". That worries me. What is "ecstasy" and what is the "big deal" so I can pass it on? 

A. The article you read was referring to the highly-respected Monitoring The Future study which queries high-school and college-age students every year. The survey, released in mid-December, shows that use of "ecstasy" was up 82% among 8th graders in one year and up about 45% among 10th and 12th graders. 

It is easy to get. The perception of availability of "ecstasy" by 12th graders rose precipitously (a one-year increase from 40.1% to 51.4%). This is the largest one-year percentage point increase in the availability measure among 12th graders for any drug class in the 26-year history of the MTF study! For complete information on Monitoring The Future, go to http://www.health.org/newsroom/mtf/index.htm.

"Ecstasy" is the popular slang name for methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). It is both a stimulant and an hallucinogen. "Ecstasy" is far from harmless. Research shows that its chronic abuse appears to damage the brain's ability to think and regulate emotion, memory, sleep and pain. That qualifies it as a "big deal". 

So talk to your daughter. Do some research together at www.clubdrugs.org and remind her of your expectations. She needs your support.

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy