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More teens land in hospital after taking Ecstasy

Doctors are dealing with more young patients on Ecstasy.  A new study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows more teenagers are getting high and end up in the emergency room when the side effects become too much to handle. 

The drug, once commonly used at raves, is now growing in popularity at high school parties and in college dorm rooms.  Ecstasy, or E as it is referred to by teens, is a mood altering drug.  Users say it creates a body high, feelings of intimacy rise and inhibition drops.

The study shows a 75% increase in the number of teenagers seeking emergency medical help because of Ecstasy.  Hospitals treated 17,865 patients for problems due to Ecstasy in 2008 compared to 10,220 in 2004.

The drug can cause blurred vision, high blood pressure, heat stroke, and kidney failure.  Ecstasy can also lead to teeth clenching, which is why many users suck on a pacifier.

More than two thirds of the patients were between the ages of 18 to 29.  About 20% were between the ages of 12 to 17.

It’s not just Ecstasy that is creating the problem.  The study also points out 31% of patients on Ecstasy had taken it with at least one other drug and washed it down with alcohol.

Ecstasy now ranks as the 7th most common drug dealt with in emergency rooms.  Cocaine tops the list with marijuana and heroin following.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration calls this an alarming trend, and warns teens and parents to be aware of the harmful effects of Ecstasy.   The study outlines several of its long term effects including depression, anxiety, paranoia, and memory loss. 

Several public health offices are launching campaigns to educate the public about these findings in hopes of decreasing drug use.