Pharmacology and Toxicology of Ecstasy

My name is Hugh Gosling and I am a student at the University of Wales, Cardiff studying undergrad pharmacology. I am also the Features editor of the student newspaper here in Cardiff, Gair Rhydd and have written extensively on the topic of drugs of abuse in a harm reduction slant. I am currently researching the pharmacology and toxicology of ecstasy for my final year project and I am e-mailing you to see if you have any knowledge of any research currently underway. Obviously I have pulled papers from the major medical, pharmacological and toxicological journals but there are many avenues that are still unexplored as far as I know. I am especially interested in the effects of ecstasy on the peripheral system (as opposed to the central nervous system) including liver, kidney and circulatory damage, but more importantly a) the cytochrome involved in metabolism that is allegedly inactive in 7% of the population (this would mean that 7% of the population would not be able to break down the drug; statistically this would be unlikely to be borne out by the number of 'users' and the number of 'incidents') and
b) the interactions with the hormone ADH, possibly relevant in the case of Leah Betts and other water toxicity cases. I am extremely interested in ecstasy in many ways; I am a clubber and am worried about the possible effects, also as a pharmacologist I am fascinated by one of the most elusive and most researched drugs I can think of. In addition I am a journalist determined to stop other journalists creating moral panic about the drug that I consider extremely safe (and indeed pharmacologically it is!) and to get the right information out there without ramming it down the tired readers throats.
From: Hugh Gosling <>