E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders
Appendix 1: Reference Section
- 21 A visit to Arno Adelaars, a part-time purchaser of street
samples of drugs for testing by the Dutch government. Amsterdam, October
- The Dutch government analyses street samples of Ecstasy and other drugs
so that they can keep a check on what is being sold. The results are released
2 weeks after the sample was purchased so as to avoid helping dealers. Adelaars
says he has never bought anything that turned out to be dangerous, and is
sceptical about claims by another drug-purchasing agency that a sample of
Ecstasy turned out to be Ketamine. Recently there has been a lot of MDEA
sold as Ecstasy.
- During the period January 1990 to June 1992, 156 street samples of "Ecstasy"
were tested. 83% were tablets, 10% powder and 7% capsules. 61% were found
to be MDMA, 4% MDA, 4% MDEA, 6% Amphetamine mixed with caffeine, 6% Amphetamine
only, 3% caffeine only. In the remaining 16%, no active ingredient was identified,
although the tests were only set up to detect amphetamine, methamphetamine,
caffeine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, MDMA, MDA and MDEA.
- Of the MDMA samples, 75% contained between 70 and 120 milligrams, though
doses of as little as 15mg or as large as 208 mg were found. Generally,
over half the samples turn out to be good-quality MDMA, but this has recently
fallen to 39% because 18% of samples sold as Ecstasy are now MDEA. Some
MDEA is stamped EVE. Adelaars says MDEA lacks the communicative quality
- Adelaars has visited a clandestine production lab. Production was carried
out by two people, neither of whom was a chemist, but one of whom had medical
knowledge. The equipment consisted of an autoclave and a 14,000 rpm mixer.
The 200,000 guilder required to set up the lab was provided from criminal
sources. The first batch of MDMA took 6 weeks to make - it would take 10
days with the right equipment. Adelaars thought manufacturing Ecstasy was
not an easy thing to do unless you had experience. In Holland, the wholesale
prices of Ecstasy are: 1 kg (10,000 doses) for
- 7.50 guilders each; 1000 at 10-12 guilders each; 100 at 12-17; 10 at
20-25. Single tablets are sold at 25-35 guilders.
- Tablet making is an art in itself - the right binders are needed to
hold the pill together long enough to reach the stomach but not so long
that it is shitted out undissolved.
- Holland is the obvious place to produce Ecstasy because the law is lenient
and the prisons nice. In November 1991, a consignment of 1,200,000 tablets
was caught on the way to England concealed in furniture, and it was found
to be just one of a series of regular shipments that had been going on for
some time. The factory in England was raided - it had ordered enough material
for some 50 million Es - but as very little was found it was presumed that
most had been used and sold. See also above.20
- Adelaars believes those with experience of other drugs have fewer problems
with E. Problems arise among young inexperienced users who can't keep their
trip under control.
E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HTMLized by Lamont Granquist (email@example.com)