Raves and Ecstasy
Raves and ecstasy are a dangerous combination that can quickly result in tragic consequences. Currently, because supplies of MDMA (ecstasy) has become more scarce as this stimulant has been linked to many deaths throughout the United State, this illicit drug fell out of favor for a brief period of time. Unfortunately, despite the dangers that are related to the use of this powerful illicit drug, ecstasy has reemerged and is easy to access at drug fueled all night dance parties that are extremely popular with teenagers and young adults. Within the past decade, raves have evolved into organized commercial events that are being staged in legitimate venues with sponsors charging upward of a hundred dollars a day for admission; these settings are in sharp contrast to the original raves that were once staged in abandoned buildings. One thing that has remained the same at these all night dance parties is that the drug of choice is ecstasy.
Ecstasy is an illicit synthetic drug that is most commonly referred to by the chemical acronym MDMA. What may appear to be a carefree outing of dancing and listening to music could potentially result in death as the result of hyperthermia, which could lead to a breakdown of muscles and kidney failure. When individuals who have combined raves and ecstasy and are admitted for emergency medical treatment, they will generally exhibit various symptoms that include but are not limited to: mydriasis, rapid heartbeat, extreme agitation, and high blood pressure; additionally, some ecstasy users will need to be treated for seizures or for renal failure.
Whether MDMA is taken as a pill or in powdered form, the illicit drug can produce a state of euphoria in the user; unfortunately, MDMA can also cause the user to become extremely dehydrated, which could pose a life-threatening problem for individuals who are dancing for hours at a time in crowded rooms. Ironically, many physicians have reported that young people who combine raves and ecstasy use will often try to drink huge amounts of water in an effort to ward off dehydration; doing so can send the person to the hospital with a dangerous condition that is commonly referred to as water intoxication. This over intake of water can potentially interfere with certain neurons that are located in the brain, which could cause the individual to experience seizures or to lapse into a coma.
Raves and ecstasy use are on the rise, as many teens and young adults are under the misconception that this illicit drug is safe; however, nothing could be further from the truth, and the risks that are connected to this combination are real. As young people get caught up in the partying atmosphere, they may be unaware that they or their peers are actually in danger; unfortunately, by the time that someone realizes that an ecstasy user is having health related problems, it is often too late. When ecstasy is mixed with liquor and various other types of drugs, severe and deadly reactions have often been reported to occur. Raves and ecstasy are the culprits that are responsible for a rapidly increasing number of teens and young adults that are being admitted to emergency rooms throughout the United States; unfortunately, many of these cases result in death as a result of organ failure.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality report, in the county of Los Angeles, over a dozen individuals who were between the ages of 15-29 who had ingested ecstasy while attending a rave, were in need of emergency medical treatment within 10-12 hours of taking the illicit drug. It was later determined that several of the individuals who were receiving emergency medical care had taken ecstasy while drinking and using various other types of illicit drugs; several of these individuals had to be admitted to the hospital, and one person was still receiving kidney dialysis several weeks after using the synthetic stimulant. Local law enforcement officers were quick to point out that there have been a series of events that have been linked directly to raves and ecstasy use which have resulted in near fatal drug overdoses. Because of the cluster of incidents that were related to the negative effects of raves and ecstasy use, the L.A. Coliseum and Sports Arena went so far as to issue a temporary ban on these types of all night dance parties.
Across the United States, hospital emergency room visits involving teens and ecstasy use have risen by over 70% from 2005-2009, according to the latest statics by the Center for Disease Control; unfortunately, a government conducted survey that involved teenagers who were reported to be between the ages of 12-17 indicated that adolescents reported a decrease in their perception of risk in relation to ecstasy use. Drug rehab centers across the U.S. have reported a massive increase in the number of young people who are seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem that is related to ecstasy.
The director of substance abuse at New York University School of Medicine recently opined in a USA today news article about how common it is for young people who use ecstasy to become psychotic; additionally, when a person overdoses on the illicit drug, they can become disoriented and delusional. Although drug treatment experts believe that ecstasy addiction is rare, they acknowledge the current surge in the U.S. in which this synthetic stimulant is being laced with methamphetamine, which is highly addictive. When these two powerful stimulants are combined, it can exaggerate the effects of both of these drugs. When a person is experiencing an ecstasy overdose they may exhibit symptoms such as rapid breathing, heart palpitations, circulatory problems, chest pain, stroke, brain damage, coma, or death.
Educating young people in regard to the potential dangers of raves and ecstasy use could help to ensure that teenagers who attend these types of events could ultimately be safer. Because teens will be teens, and they will find a way to attend these types of events, finding ways to be sure that these all night dance parties are supervised and safe is a worthwhile goal for parents and rave organizers to achieve.