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News in brief

February 13 2001: Media update

• The Village Voice has a long and balanced article about the State of Ecstasy conference which took place in San Francisco on February 2.
Who Owns Ecstasy? by Richard Elovich and Daniel Wolfe can be found at There are comments on the article by Rick Doblin of MAPS at

• On Thursday 15 February the BBC is showing a programme in its Horizon series about a 39-year-old sufferer of Parkinson's disease who has discovered that the combination of ecstasy and L-DOPA (the medically prescribed drug taken to unlock the freezing of the limbs caused by Parkinson's) gave him almost complete control back over his body. According to the programme-makers "it would be morally indefensible not to make the film, given what Tim had discovered", and apparently clinical trials based on Tim's findings are to begin in six months.
Horizon, 9pm, BBC2

February 3 2001

Amphetamine and ecstasy use in the European Union

According to the annual report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, amphetamines and ecstasy are the second most commonly used drugs in the EU (after cannabis). Between 1% and 5% of 16 to 34-year-olds have taken them. Rates are higher in narrower age groups but rarely exceed 10%. However, in the UK, 16% of young adults are estimated to have used amphetamines. The full report can be read at EMCDDA's website.

OAP's use of ecstasy on the rise in Malaysia

The use of ecstasy among Malays is on the rise, with pills being sold in clubs and disco's across the country. Unusually, use among senior citiens is increasing. According to National Dadah Agency director-general Datuk Salleh Mat Som, "senior citizens have the perception that the drug will make them more active. This is very dangerous as the heart and physical being of old people cannot sustain the effects of taking the psychotropic drug. There have been so many reminders given to the Chinese community (on the use of ecstasy)... Looking at the trend I think we must double our efforts to include other communities as well, or we will end up producing a generation of insane people."