The world’s largest study of ecstasy-related deaths discovered that one in six people who died after taking ecstasy had not taken any other drug. “This clears up the debate once and for all – ecstasy alone can kill,” says Dr Fabrizio Schifano, whose work is published in the October edition of Human Psychopharmacology.
The study found that since 1996 there had been a clear year-on-year increase in deaths in England and Wales. “Just show anyone the graph and the message is clear – the situation is getting worse,” says Dr. Schifano, who works at the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London. There were 12 deaths in 1996 and 1997; 26 in 1998; 40 in 1999; 52 in 2000 and 72 in 2001-2.
Dr. Schifano is also alarmed that so many of the victims are so young. Three quarters were below the age of 29 and 1 in 7 were younger than 19. On top of this, four out of five victims were male. These results paint a clear and alarming picture of increased risk for men between the age of 16 and 24.
Jaida Butler | alfa
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