Feds warn of lethal drug, ecstasy laced with meth

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is warning public health and safety leaders in Vermont about a dangerous new drug threat coming from Canada. Ecstasy laced with methamphetamine (meth) has been entering the United States illegal drug markets, particularly in Vermont and other northern border states. Intelligence reports indicate that once smuggled into Vermont and elsewhere, the meth-laced Ecstasy is then being distributed throughout the country. The dangerous poly-drug combination of methamphetamine and Ecstasy can have severe health consequences, especially as both drugs have toxic effects on the brain. They both can interfere with the bodys ability to regulate temperature, leading to sharp increases in body temperature (hyperthermia), which can result in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure and death. The potential for a life-threatening or fatal overdose is also increased when meth-laced Ecstasy is combined with alcohol. Recent laboratory research suggests that Ecstasy and meth combinations may produce greater adverse neurochemical and behavioral effects than either drug alone. Ecstasy use in the United States rose in the late 1990s with the rise of the Rave culture, however due to the well-coordinated national and international response - Ecstasy use in the U.S. diminished in the early 2000s. In fact, the U.S. witnessed a 54 percent reduction since 2001 in the number of United States teens using Ecstasy in the past month, however recent data show progress against the drug has ebbed. The number of people in the U.S. who reported that they tried Ecstasy for the first time during the past year increased 40 percent between 2005 and 2006 from 615,000 to 860,000. One-third of these new users in 2006 were under age 18 when they started using Ecstasy. We cannot allow our young people to once again be victimized by the Rave culture, designer drugs, or the myth that drug use is safe, said an ONDCPofficial. We cannot afford to be complacent with the progress made against Ecstasy since 2001. Just as we must teach new generations of children to read, we must continue to educate new generations of young people on the harms of drug use.

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