DOWNEY - The Downey Police Department would like to make the public aware of a recent trend indicating that use of the drug ecstasy is on the rise with teenage children.The Downey Police Narcotics Unit has seen a significant increase in ecstasy usage and trafficking within the last year. Narcotics detectives seized over 5,000 ecstasy pills from suspects selling within the city of Downey. The suspects arrested for selling Ecstasy pills ranged in age from 18 to 25, most residing in the city of Downey. Interviews with several suspects revealed that teenagers are their biggest ecstasy clients, including high school students. Downey Police arrest an average of one juvenile a week for possession of ecstasy. Ecstasy first gained popularity among adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene or dance parties known as "raves." However, the profile of the typical ecstasy user has been changing. The drug is now used by all demographic groups because so many young people believe that ecstasy is a safe drug. A person may experience feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, empathy towards others, a general sense of well-being and decreased anxiety. Young adults are not aware that ecstasy can produce a variety of adverse health effects, including nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, blurred vision and, in some cases, death due to overdose. Ecstasy can affect the brain by altering the activity of chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters with symptoms such as high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness and seizures. Ecstasy causes potential dangers in performing skilled activities such as driving a car. Moderate use of the drug causes young adults to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, restlessness, irritability and sadness that in some individuals can be as severe as clinical depression. According to research by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, ecstasy has risen in abuse among eighth through tenth graders. The drug is taken orally, usually as a capsule or tablet. Ecstasy can be purchased for as little as $5 for one tablet. As concerned parents and members of the community, we must constantly be aware of the potential dangers of ecstasy. Parents have tremendous influence on a teen's decision not to use drugs. Be a good role model and educate yourselves about drug abuse. Talk to your kids about drug abuse, establish rules, and be vigilant on their behavior patterns. Be aware of whom their friends are, and the type of activities in which they are involved. Web sites such as www.clubdrugs.gov and www.drugabuse.gov provide useful information on illegal drugs and trends. Additionally, the California Youth Crisis Line at 1-800-843-5200 is a valuable resource.
********** Published: March 17, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 48