Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ecstasy alone can kill -- and numbers of deaths continue to rise

22.09.2003


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.


Dr. Schifano believes that this increase in deaths is partly due to a fall in the price of tablets from around £16.50 in 1994 to less than £7.00 today. Many of the tablets also contain toxic contaminants that add to the danger.

In addition to the dangers associated with ecstasy on its own, Dr. Schifano is also concerned about the number of people mixing ecstasy with other drugs. “Many people now combine ecstasy with alcohol at the beginning of the evening to get a greater high, then use drugs like cocaine or amphetamines to prolong the effect, before taking opiates or high doses of alcohol to calm themselves down at the end of the evening,” he says, “and it’s a potentially lethal cocktail.”

Death from ecstasy is not instant. “It takes several hours before hyponatremia (i.e. decrease of sodium plasma levels which can lead to brain oedema) and hyperthermia (increase of body temperature up to 42-43 C) caused by these drugs have their tragic effects,” says Dr. Schifano.

Jaida Butler | alfa
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Mobile phone test can reveal vision problems in time
11.02.2016 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Proteomics and precision medicine
08.02.2016 | University of Iowa Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa 2016

12.02.2016 | Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

LIGO confirms RIT's breakthrough prediction of gravitational waves

12.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Gene switch may repair DNA and prevent cancer

12.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Using 'Pacemakers' in spinal cord injuries

12.02.2016 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>