Medline ® Abstract for Reference 3
of 'MDMA (ecstasy) intoxication'
Ecstasy: America's new "reefer madness".
J Psychoactive Drugs. 2002;34(2):137.
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) was first used as a legal adjunct to psychotherapy in the 1970s. By the early 1980s, "Ecstasy" had become a tiny part of the recreational American drug scene, and was ultimately criminalized in 1986. For a decade use continued, but remained quiet. By the end of the 1990s, increased supply, demand, seizures of pills, arrests of distributors associated with organized crime, adverse reactions, and government reports of problematic brain changes created an Ecstasy media frenzy. The government's reaction led to a public education campaign and proposals for exponential penalties for production, distribution and use of MDMA. This article looks at the history, epidemiology, and politics of Ecstasy, the media's response, and the ways in which media and government reaction will compromise harm reduction and safety.
San Francisco Office of the Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, California 94123, USA.