The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 25, 2001


Designer drugs make their way into suburbs

Many residents by now may be familiar with the terms "designer drugs," "club drugs" and "rave parties." Although the Carlisle Police Department has not yet come across these drugs in our community or incidences involving their use, all indications are that the use of designer drugs is making its way into the suburbs. In fact, during the past year there were two rave parties in the town of Acton. The most common street name of these drugs is Ecstasy. It is also called E, XTC, Love Drug, Hug Drug, Lover's Speed and Disco Biscuits. This synthetic drug (MDMA) is a stimulant with mild hallucinogenic properties and provides users with increased energy and a heightened sensory perception. The individual also experiences feelings of emotional closeness coupled with the breakdown of personal communication barriers and an enhanced sense of pleasure. The drug, generally taken in tablet form, causes effects within one hour of ingestion, and may last up to six hours.

MDMA use greatly increases blood pressure and heart rate. Body temperature can increase to 108 degrees if taken at a club or rave where there is physical exertion. Short-term effects of MDMA include confusion, depression, sleep problems, severe anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations and amnesia. MDMA also suppresses the desire to eat, drink or sleep. Long-term effects may include liver damage and loss of motor skills, giving the user the appearance of suffering from Parkinson's disease. There have been several deaths due to heart failure and heat stroke.

Young adults at clubs, raves and concerts use MDMA most often. Rave clubs are often promoted through flyers and advertisements distributed in record shops and clothing stores, college campuses and over the Internet. Rave club owners and promoters sell specialty items to dancers that promote MDMA use. They provide bottled water and sports drinks to manage dehydration, pacifiers to prevent involuntary teeth clenching, and menthol nasal inhalers (Vicks Vaporub), and chemical lights (glow sticks, necklaces and bracelets) to enhance the effects of the drug.

Young people use illegal drugs for any number of reasons, including peer pressure, depression, the need to be accepted, and as a way of coping with life's stresses. As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is to make every effort to keep the lines of communication open with your children. Communication is one of the key elements to a healthy family relationship. If you have any questions about this drug or any drug, do not hesitate to call the Carlisle Police Department at 1-978-369-1155.

An informational pamphlet entitled "Club Drugs: From the Rave to the Grave," is available in the police station lobby.

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito