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Ecstasy Use on Rise Again Among U.S. Teens: Report

Alcohol contributing to ER visits from hallucinogen, federal officials say

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Delany noted that the number of emergency room visits caused by MDMA pales in comparison to the 1.5 million ER visits linked to drug use every year, but said both the rapid increase and the age of the victims are causes for concern.

The use of alcohol with MDMA can create a person who is drunk but hyper-aware, said Delany, comparing it to giving coffee to a drunk person. "You don't want that, because then you have a wide-awake drunk," he said.

For his part, Pasierb noted how Ecstasy's popularity has fluctuated.

Ecstasy underwent a huge rise in use between 1999 and 2001, where it jumped from the club scene and into the mainstream, Pasierb said. Then news of deaths related to Ecstasy began to circulate, and use plummeted.

"We've had this six-year quiet lull, and now we've got a whole new generation of young people who are being marketed a new product under the name 'Molly,'" he said.

Molly presents additional problems because it is a powder, and often contains a cocktail of chemicals in addition to MDMA, Pasierb said.

"When it was in a finished pill, it was difficult to tamper with," he said. "But now that it comes in a powder form, you might have an unscrupulous dealer who cuts it with speed or some other substance."

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